RICHARD MÜLLER

1874 Tschirnitz – Dresden 1954

DETAILS

Dalmatian, 1906
Oil on canvas, 56 x 87 cm
Monogramed and dated upper left: RM/06

  • one of the artist's masterpieces
  • brilliant brushwork
  • psycholigically profound and life-like portrait of a dog
  • never offered on the art market before

PROVENANCE
Eduard Staffel, Witzenhausen (a friend of the artist)
thence by descent
Private collection, Germany

PRICE
Please contact me

LITERATURE
Franz Hermann Meißner, Das Werk Richard Müllers, Dresden 1921, pp. 134-136, plate 43.
Corinna Wodarz, Symbol und Eros. Die Bildwelten Richard Müllers (1874–1954) mit dem Katalog des Gesamtwerks [= calatalogue raisonné], Göttinger Beiträge zur Kunstgeschichte, vol 1, Göttingen 2002, no. M 1906.03.

Richard Müller was a fascinating German artist with extraordinary skills. At the young age of 14 he started to work at the Royal Saxon Porcelain Manufactory in Meissen just outside of Dresden. In 1890, at only 16, he was admitted, as one of the youngest students ever, to the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden. Richard Müller was a shooting star of his time. He received numerous prices including a gold medal at the Paris Exposition and was appointed to a professorship at the Dresden Academy. There he was helping to establish the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement and was the teacher of Otto Dix and Georg Grosz. Müller's work has been largely forgotten, until relatively recently, because of his ambiguous role during the Nazi era. In 1933 he became a member of the Nazi party and president of the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts. In the same year he supported Otto Dix's dismissal from the Academy. But only two years later Müller was excluded from the Nazi party and expelled from the Academy himself because of "subversive tendencies" in his art. After the war Müller remained in Dresden during the years of Communist rule and suffered for his supposed complicity with the Nazis. He was not allowed to exhibit his work and lived as an artistic and social outcast.

This arresting portrait of a Dalmatian unites a masterly painting technique that approaches photo-realism with a deep psychological understanding that vibrantly brings to live the represented creature.

GEORG SCHOLZ

Wolfenbüttel 1890 – 1945 Waldkirch

DETAILS

Vanitas still-life – Three skulls

circa 1930

oil on canvas, 40,5 x 61 cm.
Verso on the stretcher with the stamp of the artist's estate

  • visionary modern Vanitas still-life
  • painted shortly before the Nazis came to power
  • one of the last works before Georg Scholz was declared a Degenerate Artist by the Nazis

PROVENANCE
Estate of the artist
Gallery Hasenclever, Munich
Gallery Michael Haas, Berlin
Collection Rüdiger Hurrle, Durbach
Bassenge, Berlin, 12 June 2021, lot 8493

PRICE
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EXHIBITION
Berlin, Gallery Michael Haas, Stillleben. gestern und heute, 2015, p. 50
Durbach, Museum für Aktuelle Kunst Sammlung Hurrle, Das Lied der Dinge. Stillleben im Wandel der Kunst, 2018

LITERATURE
Felicia H. Sternfeld, Georg Scholz 1890-1945, Frankfurt am Main 2004, Nr. 91, pp. 383, 487

Georg Scholz is well-known for his socially critical paintings of the 1920s. He was a student of Hans Thoma and Lovis Corinth. Scholz was a leading figure of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity). In 1925, he was appointed a professor at the Baden State Academy of Art in Karlsruhe. With the rise to power of the Nazis in 1933, Scholz was dismissed from his teaching position. Declared a Degenerate Artist, his works were among those seized in 1937 and he was forbidden to paint in 1939.

The present work is a timeless Vanity and a visionary painting at the same time, given the tragic events that would evolve soon after its creation.

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

1906 Vienna – London 1996

DETAILS

Portrait of a dwarf (Karl Mader), 1928
Oil on canvas, 63,5 x 50 cm

  • one of the artist's masterpieces
  • from her best period
  • the last painting of this importance still in private hands
  • captures the essential nature of the sitter

PROVENANCE
The artist, until 1996
Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Trust, London
from whom acquired in 2010 through Galerie St. Etienne, New York, by a private collector
from whom acquired in 2019 through Fischer Kunsthandel, Berlin, by a private collector

PRICE
Please contact me

EXHIBITION
Vienna, Austria, Wiener Secession, Marie-Louise Motesiczky, 1966, no. 4, illus.
Linz, Austria, Neue Galerie der Stadt Linz, Marie-Louise Motesiczky, 1966, no. 4, illus.
Munich, Germany, Galerie Günther Franke, Marie-Louise Motesiczky, 1967, no. 4, illus.
Bremen, Germany, Kunsthalle Bremen, Marie-Louise Motesiczky, 1968, no. 4, illus.
London, United Kingdom, Goethe-Institut, Marie-Louise Motesiczky. Paintings Vienna 1925 - London 1985, 1985, no. 11, illus. p. 67
Cambridge, United Kingdom, The Fitzwilliam Museum, Marie-Louise Motesiczky. Paintings Vienna 1925 - London 1985, 1986, The Fitzwilliam Museum, no. 11, illus. p. 67
Dublin, Ireland, Royal Hospital Kilmainham, Marie-Louise Motesiczky with 'Figurative Image', 1988, no. 3
Vienna, Austria, Österreichische Galerie, Oberes Belvedere, Marie-Louise Motesiczky, 1994, no. 7, illus.
Manchester, United Kingdom, Manchester City Art Galleries, Marie-Louise Motesiczky. Paintings 1925-93, 1994, , no. 6
Vienna, Austria, Kunstforum Bank Austria, Neue Sachlichkeit, 1995, no. 47, p. 308, illus.
Vienna, Austria, Kunstforum, Jahrhundert der Frauen. Vom Impressionismus zur Gegenwart. Österreich 1870 bis heute, 1999, no. 126, p. 138, illus.
Liverpool, United Kingdom, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky 1906 - 1996. The painter, Tate Liverpool, 2006, no. 13, illus. p. 71
Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Museum Giersch, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, 2006, no. 13, illus. p. 71
Vienna, Austria, Wien Museum, Who is Marie-Louise von Motesiczky? Malerin zwischen Wien und London, 2007, no. 13, illus. p. 71
Passau, Germany, Museum Moderner Kunst, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky. Eine Retrospektive, 2007, no. 13, illus. p. 71
Southampton, United Kingdom, City Art Gallery, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, 2007, no. 13, illus. p. 71

LITERATURE
Elisabeth Freundlich, "Trotz alledem ein guter Ort". 'Die Wiener Secession stellt Bilder von Marie-Louise Motesiczky aus' , Mannheimer Morgen, 25 May 1966, n.p.
Grete Helfgott, 'Bilder von Menschen und Schicksalen', Arbeiter-Zeitung (Vienna) 13 May 1966, n.p., illus.
Johann Muschik, 'Auf Stippvisite in Wien. Marie-Louise Motesiczky zeigt Bilder aus 40 Schaffensjahren', Neues Österreich, 22 May 1966, n.p.
Claus Pack, 'Jubiläum und Besuch' , Die Furche, vol. 22, no. 20, 14 May 1966, n.p.
Benno Reifenberg, 'Marie-Louise Motesiczky', in Marie-Louise Motesiczky, exh. cat. Wiener Secession, Vienna1966, n.p.; also published in exh. cats. Linz 1966, Munich 1967, Bremen 1968 all n.p.; repr. in Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, exh. cat. Österreichische Galerie, Oberes Belvedere, Vienna 1994, p. 11
Hilde Spiel, 'Die Malerin Marie-Louise Motesiczky. Eine Ausstellung in der Wiener Secession' , Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 19 May 1966, n.p.
Harald Sterk, 'Das Zwischenspiel der Neuen Galerie' , Die Zukunft, no. 11, 1966, p. 25
Larry Berryman, 'Marie-Louise von Motesiczky', Arts Review, 6 December 1985, p. 628
William Feaver, 'Paintings by Marie-Louise von Motesiczky', The Observer, 7 December 1985, n.p.
Hilary Pyle, 'A strong show of works by artists with faith in images', Cork Examiner, 16 December 1988, n.p.
Peter Black, Introduction to Marie-Louise von Motesiczky. Paintings 1925-93, exh. cat. Manchester City Art Galleries, Manchester 1994, p. 6
Jan Tabor, 'Ist es oder ist es nicht? Das Wiener Kunstforum zeigt einen Überblick der Neuen Sachlichkeit in Österreich', Süddeutsche Zeitung, 10/11 June 1995, n.p.
Peter Black, 'Marie-Louise von Motesiczky', Dictionary of Women Artists, ed. Delia Gaze, London/Chicago 1997, p. 992
Laura Philips, 'Hidden in Hampstead'. The life and work of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, The Jewish Quarterly, vol. 48, no. 4 (184), 2001/2, p. 30
Eva Michel, 'Marie-Louise von Motesiczky 1906-1996. Eine österreichische Schülerin von Max Beckmann', diploma thesis, University of Vienna, 2003, p. 37, illus 43
Elena López Calatayud, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky. Technique and Materials, diploma thesis, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2005, pp. 25, 30-32
Peter Black, 'Portrait Power', The Spectator, 20 May 2006, p. 57
Birgit Sander, 'Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, Max Beckmann and Frankfurt, in Marie-Louise von Motesiczky 1906-1996, exh. cat. Tate Liverpool/Museum Giersch, Frankfurt am Main/Wien Museum, Vienna/Southampton City Art Gallery, 2006, pp. 122 f.
Ines Schlenker, catalogue entry, in Marie-Louise von Motesiczky 1906-1996, exh. cat. Tate Liverpool/Museum Giersch, Frankfurt am Main/Wien Museum, Vienna/Southampton City Art Gallery, 2006, p. 70
Judith von Sternburg, 'Die Tochter. Das Museum Giersch gibt Gelegenheit, die Malerin Marie-Louise von Motesiczky zu entdecken', Frankfurter Rundschau, 29 September 2006, n.p.
Jill Lloyd, The Undiscovered Expressionist. A Life of Marie-Louise von Motesiczky, New Haven/London, 2007, p. 67
Eva Michel, 'Ein Leben in Bildern. Marie-Louise von Motesiczky zum 100. Geburtstag', Parnass, vol. 27, 2007, pp. 117 f.
Ines Schlenker, Marie-Louise von Motesiczky 1906-1996, A catalogue raisonné of the paintings, Manchester/New York, 2010, pp. 57, 107, no. 22, illus.

This magnificent portrait is one of the most powerful works in Motesiczky's entire oeuvre. Traditionally called 'dwarf' the sitter can very probably be identified as Karl Mader (Ines Schlenker, 2010, no. 22). He lived in Hinterbrühl, a village south-west of Vienna, where the Motesiczky family spent their summers. Locals remember Karl Mader's small, somewhat deformed stature and speech difficulties.
Motesiczky's half-length portrait does not simply show a dwarf but a self-conscious man who at the same time very attentively and sceptically inspects the viewer. His straight, almost majestic pose expresses proudness and the ambition to make himself appear taller. His rigorous face with the penetrating glance also shows aggressiveness that seems to serve the handicapped sitter as a protection from disrespect and ridicule.

"In her pictures of friends and strangers, of men and women, the spectator is drawn into an exciting dialogue with each model as he comes along. The dialogue (…) leads us far beyond the figure who momentarily confronts us. With a brush that moves cautiously and yet with decision the artist works her way into the essential nature of her partner. Her delicate human sensibility and her feeling for all the modulations and vacillations both of character and colour, her peculiar gift for gentle circumlocution and for ironically sharp expressions and shapes, permit her to abandon all that is conventional in both pose and facial expression. (...) the whole gamut of human possibilities opens up before the eyes of this patient observer and there emerges in each case a complete human being" (Günther Busch, in exh. cat. London 1985, pp. 9, 10).

Marie-Louise von Motesiczky was born in Vienna on 24 October 1906. Her father Edmund, a talented amateur cellist who played with Brahms, died when Motesiczky was only three. Her mother Henriette came from an extremely wealthy and cultured Jewish family whose relations included many distinguished names from the social and intellectual life of Vienna, among them the philosopher Franz von Brentano and Robert von Lieben, the inventor of the amplifying valve. The family also made an impact on the origin of psychoanalysis, Motesiczky’s grandmother Anna von Lieben being one of Sigmund Freud’s early patients.

At 13, Motesiczky left school and subsequently attended art classes in Vienna, The Hague, Frankfurt, Paris and Berlin. In 1927/8, she was invited by Max Beckmann to join his master class at the Städelschule in Frankfurt am Main. Beckmann had been introduced to the Motesiczky family in 1920. Beckmann left a strong and lasting impression on Motesiczky both as a person and an artist and was to become a life-long friend and influence. Motesiczky spent a decade quietly developing her artistic skills, exhibiting only once, in 1933, with the Hagenbund. In the wake of the 'Anschluss' in 1938, she abruptly had to flee from Austria with her mother. Motesiczky’s brother Karl, born in 1904, refused to leave and used the family residence in Hinterbrühl near Vienna to shelter Jewish friends. In 1943 he was sent to Auschwitz where he died shortly afterwards.

With her mother, Motesiczky went to Holland where she had her first solo exhibition in 1939. Shortly afterwards they left for England and, after a brief stay in London, settled in Amersham. It was here that Motesiczky met the writer Elias Canetti who became a friend, lover and companion for the next three decades. In 1943, Motesiczky joined the Artists’ International Association and took part in several of their exhibitions. The following year, Motesiczky’s first solo exhibition in London took place at the Czechoslovak Institute. She also renewed her acquaintance with Oskar Kokoschka who had been a friend of the family in Vienna.

After the war, Motesiczky moved to London. Two solo exhibitions in The Hague and Amsterdam in 1952 were followed two years later by one at the Städtische Galerie in Munich and one at the Beaux Arts Gallery in London in 1960. The first success in her native country came in 1966 when the Wiener Secession staged a large solo exhibition which subsequently traveled to Linz, Bremen and Munich.

The artistic breakthrough in the United Kingdom came with the major solo exhibition at the Goethe-Institut in London in 1985 which achieved enormous critical acclaim. By the time the Österreichische Galerie im Belvedere in Vienna held a retrospective exhibition of Motesiczky’s work in 1994 the artist had already established her reputation as an important Austrian painter of the twentieth century.

Several paintings by Motesiczky are in public collections, for example in the Albertina, Vienna, the Tate and the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art, Amsterdam  and the Städel Museum, Frankfurt. As Motesiczky refused to sell any of her paintings she kept them in her own house until she died in London on 10 June 1996. Today the Marie-Louise von Motesiczky Charitable Trust keeps the main body of her work.

PABLO PICASSO

Málaga 1881-1973 Mougins

DETAILS

Etching, 1933-4
On heavy wove paper, plate size: 87 x 145 mm, sheet size: 227 x 315 mm; with full margins.
Signed in pencil, inscribed 'Pour Lacourière' and '2e E. no 2/4'

  • one of Picasso's rarest prints
  • the only known proof of this state
  • dedicated to Roger Lacourière, printer of the Suite Vollard

PROVENANCE
Roger Lacourière, Paris
Sotheby's, London, 6 October 1976, Lot 90
Private Collection
Christie's, New York, 6 November 1996, Lot 331
There acquired by a Private Collection, Switzerland
By descent until 2020

PRICE
Please contact me

LITERATURE
Bernhard Geiser et Brigitte Baer, Picasso Peintre-Graveur, 373 II/II

This is the only known proof of this state, although, judging from the inscription in the lower left, there seem to have been originally 4 proofs. There is one proof of the first state in the Museé Picasso, Paris (MP 2406).

 

RICHARD SEEWALD

Arnswalde 1889 – 1976 Munich

DETAILS

Still-life with laurel and Dante's Divine Comedy, 1928
Oil on panel, 69,9 × 49,7 cm
Signed upper right: Seewald
Signed, titled and dated in red chalk on the reverse:
Seewald „Stilleben mit Lorbeer“ 1928

  • exemplary still-life of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement
  • probably the best surviving work of the artist
  • one of the very rare works as the artist burnt 150 of his paintings
  • from the collection of August Sander, one of the most important photographers of the early twentieth century

PROVENANCE
August Sander, Cologne
Thence by descent until 2021
Grisebach, Berlin, Sander Collection, 10 June 2021, lot 658

PRICE
Please contact me

EXHIBITION
Richard Seewald 85 Jahre. Bilder, Zeichnungen, Graphik 1912-1973. Munich, Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, 1973/74, cat. no. 12, ill.
Zeitgenossen. August Sander und die Kunstszene der 20er Jahre im Rheinland. Cologne, Josef-Haubrich-Kunsthalle and Kiel, Kunsthalle, 2000, cat. no. 487, ill. p. 121
Los progresistas de Colonia. August Sander y su círculo de amigos. 1920-1933. Valladolid, Museo de Pasión, Sala Municipal de Exposiciones, 2012/13, unnumbered, ill. p. 61

A note on the provenance:
August Sander (17 November 1876 – 20 April 1964) was the most important German portrait photographer of the early twentieth century. He also built an extraordinary art collection of Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objective) paintings.

Richard Seewald, draughtsman, painter and illustrator, was born in Arnswalde on 4 May 1889. In 1909 Seewald began to study architecture at Munich Polytechnic (now Technical University) but soon turned to painting, in which he was self-taught. In 1911 he had his first exhibition at the Galerie Thannhauser in Munich. Seewald was a member of The "New Secession", which was founded in Munich in December that same year, and soon also joined the "Deutscher Künstlerbund". Seewald began to illustrate books such as "Robinson Crusoe", "Penthesilea" and his own first book, "Tiere und Landschaften". At the age of only thirty-five, Seewald was appointed to a teaching position at the Werkschule in Cologne in 1924.
The cultural and political changes that were taking place in Germany made Richard Seewald decide in 1931 to settle at Ronco sopra Ascona in Switzerland, where he joined the artist's group "Der Große Bär" and became a honorary citizen in 1939. A convert to Catholicism by that time, Richard Seewald received commissions for frescoes in churches and other ecclesiastical buildings. Seewald did not return to Germany until 1948 and was not reintegrated in the cultural life of his native country until 1954.
Appointed professor at the Munich Fine Art Academy, Richard Seewald left four years later after differences of opinion with the board of governors. On his wife's death, Richard Seewald burnt about one hundred and fifty of his pictures as well as hundreds of sketches, designs and letters. In the late 1960s Seewald frescoed the arcades of the Munich Hofgarten and designed windows for the Herz-Jesu-Kirche [Church of the Sacred Heart] in Munich-Neuhausen among others. Richard Seewald died in Munich on 29 October 1976.

This is an exemplary work of the Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity) movement, which was a reaction against Expressionism. Our still-life is carefully composed and balanced in beautiful order. The everyday objects are depicted with calm precision. This is characteristic for the painters of the New Objectivity who intended to make visible the magic of the normal world as it presents itself to us when we really look at it. An edition of Dante's divine commedy which is prominently placed on the chair  points to a meaning beyond the beautifully arranged objects in the present to a fantastic vision of the after-life.

SOUTH GERMAN OR AUSTRIAN

circa 1450

DETAILS

The Holy Trinity
Oil on wood, 112 x 82 cm

  • timeless powerful image
  • medieval holy object
  • venerated for centuries
  • vibrant colours and gold

PROVENANCE
Collection Helmuth Lüttgens, Aix-La-Chapelle
Collection Axel Heinemann, Aix-La-Chapelle
Phillipps, London 10 December 1991, lot 42 (as 'South German, 16th Century')
Kunsthaus am Museum, Carola van Ham, Cologne, 23-25 June 1993, lot 937 (as 'Westphalia, 15th Century')
Private Collection, Germany

PRICE
Please contact me

EXHIBITION
Lindau, Stadtmuseum, Das spätgotische Tafelbild im deutschsprachigen Raum – Eine Privatsammlung, Lindau 2007, p. 11, no. 5 (as 'Austrian, circa 1450')

This powerful painting shows the three divine beings of the Trinity: God the Father, Christ and the Holy Ghost. God, sitting on his throne, supports his son, Christ, who is shown crucified and in a smaller scale. The Holy Ghost is represented by a dove that hovers between the two. On either side, three angels kneel in adoration.
The simple colour scheme of green, red and blue, which traditionally is a symbolic reference to the Trinity, is striking against the gilded and patterned background. This panel once formed the central part of an altarpiece with panels on either side. The hinge marks are still visible on the frame, which is original to the picture.

REMBRANDT HARMENSZ. VAN RIJN 

Leiden 1606 – 1669 Amsterdam

DETAILS

The Descent from the Cross by Torchlight
Etching and drypoint
1654
Plate: 21 x 16,3 cm
Sheet: 21,9 x 17 cm
The New Hollstein (Hinterding/Rutgers) 286/I (of IV)
White/Boon 83

  • one of Rembrandt's most dramatic night scenes
  • a magnificent impression of extraordinary beauty in perfect condition
  • with an outstanding provenance
  • the best available on the market

PROVENANCE
Wilhelm Eduard Drugulin (1825 – Leipzig – 1879), Lugt 2612
Sotheby, Wilkinson and Hodge, London, 11 June 1866, lot 1360
Dr. August Sträter (1810 – Aix-la-Chapelle  – 1897), Lugt 787
H.G. Gutekunst, Stuttgart, 18 May 1898, lot 719: „Impression of extraordinary beauty, with rich burr, in perfect condition, with margins. From the Drugulin collection. Very rare“.
There acquired by Keppel.
Atherton Curtis ( New York 1863 – Paris 1943), Lugt 94
Gutekunst und Klipstein, Bern, 28 April 1955, lot 94: „Impression of extraordinary beauty, with rich burr, especially in Christ's beard and to the back of the man supporting the corpse; deep black impression on white paper, thereby particularly favourably emphasizing the character of a night scene. In excellent condition, with at least 3 mm margins all around the platemark“.
There acquired by Dr. Louis Karl (owner of Karl & Faber), Munich.
Private collection „P“, not listed in Lugt.

PRICE
Please contact me.

The Descent from the Cross by Torchlight is one of Rembrandt's most dramatic prints. The composition is ingenious. The focus of attention is led not to the centre but to the upper left. The whole movement of the scene starts there with the grisly detail of the nail through Christ's right foot. A man is hammering it out of the foot to finally detach Christ from the cross. Next to him stands a man who holds the torch, the only source of light. Typically for Rembrandt he thought through in detail how the removal from the cross would work. Two men on a ladder are carefully lowering the large cloth in which Christ is wrapped. The man seen from behind is holding the corpse and one can feel the full weight of the body he is bearing. An almost magically illuminated hand comes out of the gloom to the right, as another man comes to his assistance. The foreground is dominated by the bier, which is the destination for Christ's body and where the movement through the composition initiated at the upper left will come to an end. One of the main characters, Joseph of Arimathea, who is draping the sheet, is in the shadow and can be seen only upon closer examination. The same is true for Rembrandt's signature and the date, which the artist has almost hidden in the drapery of the sheet.

This is the most beautiful impression on the market, with rich burr and at least 3 mm margins all around the platemark. The condition is impeccable.

 

GERMAN

circa 1480

DETAILS

Christ on the cross with Mary and Saint John and three angels
Woodcut on parchment; hand coloured and with gold leaves on the haloes
Sheet: 36,4 x 25,6 cm
Schreiber 950

  • a true gem in the history of print making
  • iconic and powerful image
  • extremely rare
  • better than the impression in the National Gallery, Washington

PROVENANCE
Hellmuth Wallach (1901 – Munich, New York, Bern, Peretshofen - 1989)
by descent until 2015
Emanuel von Baeyer, London
From whom acquired by a Private collection

PRICE
Please contact me

LITERATURE
Ludwig Hain, Repertorium bibliographicum, Stuttgart 1828-38, vol. 1, no. 1272
W.H. Weale, Catalogus missalium ritus latini ab anno 1474, London 1886, p. 43
Paul Heitz, mit einer Einleitung von Wilhelm Ludwig Schreiber, Christus am Kreuz, Kanonbilder der in Deutschland gedruckten Messbücher des 15. Jahrhunderts, Straßburg 1910, p. 20, no. 33 and plate 33
Schreiber, Wilhelm Ludwig, Handbuch der Holz- und Metallschnitte des XV. Jahrhunderts, vol. 2, Leipzig,  1926-1930, vol. 2, no. 950
Richard S. Field, Fifteenth Century Woodcuts and Metalcuts from the National Gallery of Art, Exh. cat. Washington: National Gallery of Art, 1965, no 140 (an uncoloured copy)
Wilhelm Ludwig Schreiber, Catalogue des incunables a figures, Imprimes en Allemagne, en Suisse, en Autriche-Ongrie et en Scandinavie, vol. 2, reedition of 1911, Stuttgart 1969, no. 4677,2
The illustrated Bartsch 163 (Supplement) ed. by Richard S. Field, German Single-leaf woodcuts before 1500, 1990, no. 950
Emanuel von Baeyer, The Hellmuth Wallach collection, London 2016, no. 8, p. 26, 27 (erroneously as Michael Wolgemut)

A note on the provenance:
Hellmuth Wallach was one of the leading antiquarians in Munich. As a Jew he was forced to emigrate after the Nazis came to power. He reestablished his Munich business in New York at 558 Madison Avenue together with Emil Hirsch. As a true Bavarian Hellmuth Wallach was terribly homesick, but it wasn’t until 1970 that he returned to Europe, first to Switzerland and then to the tiny village of Peretshofen, located in the beautiful foothills of the Bavarian Alps. Wallach’s extraordinary collection of prints of the finest quality had a special focus on Old Masters and spanned from the 15th to the 19th century.

The present Christ on the cross is an extremely rare single-leaf woodcut from the 15th century. Its powerful simplicity in design gives it a timeless beauty. It was also used as a Canon woodcut in the Missale Brandenburgensis, Nuremberg, 1494. Most of the early single-leaf woodcuts did not survive due to their fragility and everyday use. They were regarded by their contemporaries as holy objects that had physical power against evil and disease. As such they were often pasted on walls of the interior rooms to be as present and close as possible. Our Christ on the cross is special in several ways. First of all, it is exceptionally well preserved. Then it is originally hand coloured with the haloes of St. Mary and St. John in precious gold leaves. And it is printed on parchment instead of the more common paper. It is a true gem in the history of print making.

There is another, but uncoloured copy on parchment in the National Gallery, Washington, Rosenwald collection, 1943.3.542
www.nga.gov/collection/art-object-page.3754.html

PRAGUE SCHOOL

circa 1600

DETAILS

A Rudolfian satirical allegory
Pen and ink, watercolour and gouache on paper with a watermark (eagle in a circle), 27 x 41 cm.
Inscribed on the letter attached to the lance: Wir Rudolf (…)/zu allen zeiten (…)
and on the letter held by the figure in the left: Moderare/Cunctis/in rebus

  • bizarre, mysterious and amusing subject
  • large, colourful satirical drawing
  • the meaning of which is still to be deciphered

PROVENANCE
Private collection, Germany

PRICE
16.000 Euro

Represented is a tournament of two bizarre combatants, cheered on by equally bizarre supporters. The weird knight on the left has a letter attached to his lance which is written by Emperor Rudolf II. He seems to be riding on an object resembling a treasure chest, out of which emerge arms and legs of a man. He has rammed his lance into his opponent. The latter fights back with a huge sword and rides on an empty barrel with a barking dog. From his torso emerge symbols of vice: snakes, bats, a witch and a dragon, dice and playing cards. The knight with the sword is also attacked by storks, a jay and a magpie originating from the imperial fighter. The foreground is crowded with fantastic creatures that seem inspired by Hieronymus Bosch. On the left a human-like figure with butterfly wings holds a sheet of paper with the motto Moderare/Cunctis/in rebus (moderate in all matters). The meaning of this large, allegorical drawing still remains to be deciphered.

GIUSEPPE BARTOLOMEO CHIARI

1654 - Rome - 1727

DETAILS

Holy Family with sleeping Christ child and the infant Saint John the Baptist
oil on copper, 24 x 18,5 cm

  • charming late-Baroque painting on copper
  • pastel-like colours
  • exceptionally well preserved
  • the pope and the Roman nobility loved Chiari's work

PROVENANCE
Private Collection, Southern Germany

PRICE
16.000 Euro

Giuseppe Bartolomeo Chiari was a late-Baroque painter and one of the representative figures of the Roman art world of the period about 1700.

Pope Clement XI was a major patron of Chiari. He commissioned a ceiling painting depicting the glory of Saint Clement for the church of San Clemente and one of twelve nave paintings of old testament prophets for San Giovanni in Laterano, among other important works. From 1722 until 1725 Chiari held the prestigious position of Principe of the Accademia di S. Luca. For the nobility Chiari frescoed numerous palaces including the Palazzo Barberini, Palazzo Colonna and Palazzo Spada.

In this idyllic devotional painting, the Virgin raises her finger to her lips to warn John the Baptist not to wake the sleeping Christ.

LORENZO PASINELLI

Bologna 1629 - 1700

DETAILS

Two embracing putti
Oil on paper, 23,5 x 25,2 cm

  • very beautiful, refined study
  • characteristic monochrome oil on paper

PROVENANCE
Private Collection, Paris

PRICE
Please contact me

I am grateful to Prof. Daniele Benati for confirming the attribution to Lorenzo Pasinelli based on high resolution images.

Lorenzo Pasinelli was a native of Bologna. There he studied under Simone Cantarini, one of Guido Reni’s most talented pupils. Cantarini had developed a more fluid, free manner in his later career, and his light brushwork would influence Pasinelli’s own expressive style. After Cantarini died in 1648, Pasinelli worked three years under Flaminio Torri before setting out alone, establishing his own successful workshop as one of Bologna’s leading masters. He subsequently worked in Mantua and Rome, and received prestigious international commissions from Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor (1640-1705) and Hans-Adam I, Prince of Liechtenstein (1662-1712) among others.

Pasinelli painted this refined and characteristic composition of two putti in monochrome oil. This technique played an important role in the artist's creative process and working methods. His monochromes were initially conceived as an intermediary stage in the creation of finished paintings. But as collectors and patrons were very interested in these studies, Pasinelli recognized their great commercial potential. So it is very well possible that our sheet was not intended as a preparatory sketch but as a highly attractive work for collectors.

JACOB ANDRIES BESCHEY

Antwerp 1710-1786

DETAILS

The Crowning of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, with Saint Apollonia and Saint Margaret of Antioch
signed lower left: 'J.Bescheij'
oil on panel, 45,5 x 36,6 cm

  • celebration of four holy woman heroes
  • fully signed by the artist
  • in wonderful condition

PROVENANCE
Private Collection, Paris
Auction Eve, Paris, 20 June 2005, Lot 52
Auction Sotheby's, London, 9 December 2010, Lot 180
Auction Bonham's, London, 4 July 2012, Lot 2
Private Collection, Germany

PRICE
14.000 Euro

Jacob Andries Beschey was a Flemish painter of the late Baroque in Antwerp. He was elected as a master of the Gulid of St. Luke in 1727 and became Dean in 1766.

Seated on a throne in a garden, the Virgin Mary gently holds the Christ Child on her lap. He places a laurel and rose crown signifying victory on the head of the kneeling virgin saint, Catherine of Alexandria. She holds a palm branch, symbol of martyrdom. The idyllic scene departs from the traditional imagery of the Mystic Marriage of Saint Catherine, which is derived from Jacobus de Voragine's popular Golden Legend, written about 1275. In Voragine's account, the erudite young Egyptian queen converted to Christianity in about 300, thereupon experiencing a mystical vision in which the Christ Child symbolically married her. When Catherine then refused the advances of the pagan emperor Maxentius, she was tortured on spiked wheels, which were miraculously destroyed by a thunderbolt. The child angel on her right holding lightning bolts alludes to this miracle. Later she was decapitated. Saint Catherine is accompanied by two other virgin saints whose dramatic stories are told in the Golden Legend. At the left stands Saint Apollonia with a set of pincers in her right hand. This refers to her being tortured by having her teeth extracted. On the right stands Saint Margaret with her attribute, a dragon on a leash. For refusing to marry the pagan governor of Antioch, the saint was imprisoned and devoured by Satan in the form of a demonic dragon. Though the beast burst, releasing her unscathed, she was subsequently martyred. On the upper part of the  composition three putti are flying who throw roses over the female saints.
Martyrdom as a saintly attribute was often celebrated during the Counter Reformation renewal of Catholic fervor.

The composition is inspired by Rubens's large altarpiece painted for the church of Saint Augustine in Mechelen (Malines), near Antwerp and now in the Toledo Museum of Art.

 

CORNELIS SAFTLEVEN

Gorkum, circa 1607 – 1681, Rotterdam

 

DETAILS

A cat with a foolscap
Oil on wood, 16,8 x 22,5 cm
Signed and dated: C Saft […] 16 […]

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