Marie-Louise von Motesiczky

1906 Vienna – London 1996


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

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

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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

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.




Icarus and Daedalus
Oil on canvas, 158.8 x 118.5 cm.
Signed lower left: Pieter Thys fecit

Perhaps Marie Verschueren-Pauwenys, Antwerp (Her death inventory of 19 November 1675)
Martin B. Asscher, London
Christie's, London, 22 May 1953, lot 127, as Vandyck (7 gns. to Manchi[?]).
Christie's, London, 9 July 2008, lot 141 (GBP 97,250 = USD 192,360 [GBP/USD:1,978])
Acquired from the above by a Private collection, USA

Marie-Louise Hairs, Dans le silage de Rubens, Les peintres d'histoire Anversois au XVIIe siècle, Liège 1977, p. 274

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Pieter Thys was "one of the greatest artists ... it is only justice to put him with the first of his nation. He was a great designer; his compositions have much spirit; his colour & his manner are vigorous"1.

All the impressive characteristics of Pieter Thys which the 18th century art historian Jean-Baptiste Descamps praised so enthusiastically are demonstrated in Icarus and Daedalus. It is one of the artist's masterpieces and he proudly signed it 'Pieter Thys fecit'. Although Thys was clearly indebted to van Dyck, his powerful and dramatic Icarus and Daedalus needs not to shy away from a comparison with his great Antwerp predecessor. Van Dyck painted the subject twice: Art Gallery of Ontario and Rose-Marie and Eijk van Otterloo collection, Marblehead MA. Thys took the traditional theme to another level both in composition and in psychological profoundness. It even seems as if he has given a new, more contemporary interpretation of the story. Traditionally the fable's message is moderation and the golden mean, as Icarus was instructed by Daedalus not to fly too high, nor too low. But Icarus' powerful gesture in the present work, pointing energetically with his right hand raised high to the sky, fits perfectly well to a 1632 interpretation of Ovid's fable by George Sandy which seems to be influenced in part by Francis Bacon:

"Icarus falls in aspiring. Yet more commendable than those, who creep on the earth like contemptible wormes, such the other extreame: whereas this hath somthing of magnamity, and mounts like a bird of Jove to his heavenly kindred. So that two vices, the one is the braver, and the other safer (...)"2.

Pieter Thys' Icarus clearly favours the braver vice. He is prepared to fly too high and would rather die eagle-like than like a worm. Daedalus tries in vain to bring his high-flying son down to earth with his heavy right hand that at the same time attaches the wing. The father's sorrowful expression shows that he already senses the tragic end of the story. Pieter Thys transformed the psychological tension between father and son masterfully in a powerful grand composition. A recent cleaning   revealed that the work is also extraordinary beautiful in colour. The vigorous palette of Pieter Thys seems to be influenced not only by Rubens and van Dyck but also by Venetian Renaissance paintings. Icarus' shimmery pink drapery, for example, is reminiscent of Titian and Paolo Veronese.
Although Pieter Thys worked for such illustrious clients as the Archduke Leopold William in Brussels and the House of Orange in The Hague, today he is not widely known. In part this may be explained by the fact that numerous of his compositions, including the present one, were in the past wrongly attributed to Anthony van Dyck. But beautiful and significant works such as our Daedalus and Icarus prove strikingly that Pieter Thys developed his own, very powerful style and in few occasions even excelled van Dyck .

There is another autograph but unsigned version of Icarus and Daedalus in the collection of the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen, Munich, and an old copy at the Royal Museum, Antwerp.

In 1644–5 Pieter Thys became a master in Antwerp’s Guild of St Luke and from circa 1647 worked for Archduke Leopold William in Brussels and the House of Orange in The Hague. He executed allegorical and mythological compositions for both courts and was also active as a portrait painter (e.g. Archduke Leopold William, Vienna, Kunsthistorisches Museum). Later in his career Thys concentrated mainly on religious compositions for Antwerp monasteries and numerous churches in smaller towns and villages in Brabant and East Flanders (e.g. Sacrifice of Isaac, Antwerp, S. Jacob). In addition, he painted mythological scenes and portrait commissions for individuals and the art trade in Antwerp. From the outset Thys was greatly influenced by the later work of van Dyck. This may be related to the fact that his early patrons were rulers whose taste was formed by van Dyck’s refined courtly style. Other possible influences include the work of older painters such as Thomas Willeboirts Bosschaert (1614–54) and Gonzales Coques; both artists were among the earliest followers of van Dyck, and they were also Thys’ predecessors at the courts of Brussels and The Hague.


1 Jean-Baptiste Descamps, La vie de peintres flamands, allemandset hollondais, vol. II, Paris 1754 (reprint 1972), pp. 363-4.
2 J. Douglas Stewart, Pieter Thys (1624-77), Recovering a 'scarcely known' Antwerp painter, in Apollo, February 1997, vol 145, no. 420, p. 39.


Málaga 1881-1973 Mougins


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

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

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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).



Italian, 17th Century


A grotesque giant laying an egg - Anthropomorphic landscape

Oil on canvas, 102,5 x 81,6 cm

Private collection, Belgium
S.A. Servaerts, Brussels, May 2001, lot 317
Private collection, France
Raffael Valls, Ltd., London

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Le Repos du sculpteur IV
from the "Suite Vollard"
4 April 1933

Etching on „Vergé de Montval“ with watermark „Vollard“, Plate: 19,4 x 26,7 cm  
Bloch 174; Baer 327/B.d.
Edition of 260

Ambroise Vollard, Saint-Denis, 1865-1939, Versailles
His estate
Henri Marie Petiet, Saint-Prix, Seine-et-Oise, 1894-1980
His estate (with the dry stamp, Lugt 5462)

PRICE: upon request


1874 Tschirnitz – Dresden 1954


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

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

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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.




Le Repos du sculpteur devant des chevaux et un taureau
from the "Suite Vollard"
31 March 1933

Etching on „Vergé de Montval“ with watermark „Vollard“, Plate: 19,4 x 26,7 cm  
Bloch 166; Baer 319/B.d.
Edition of 260

Ambroise Vollard, Saint-Denis, 1865-1939, Versailles
His estate
Henri Marie Petiet, Saint-Prix, Seine-et-Oise, 1894-1980
His estate (with the dry stamp, Lugt 5462)

PRICE: upon request


Wolfenbüttel 1890 – 1945 Waldkirch


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

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

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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

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.




Le Repos du sculpteur et le modèle au masque
from the "Suite Vollard"
27 March 1933

Etching on „Vergé de Montval“ with watermark „Picasso“, Plate: 26,7 x 19,4 cm
Bloch 159; Baer 312/B.d.
Edition of 260

Ambroise Vollard, Saint-Denis, 1865-1939, Versailles
His estate
Henri Marie Petiet, Saint-Prix, Seine-et-Oise, 1894-1980
His estate (with the dry stamp, Lugt 5462)

PRICE: upon request


Arnswalde 1889 – 1976 Munich


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

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

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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.


17th/18th Century


Study Head of a Bearded Man

Oil over black chalk on paper, laid down on canvas, 48,5 x 34,8 cm

Private collection, Austria

18.000 Euro


circa 1480


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

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

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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


circa 1450


The Holy Trinity
Oil on wood, 112 x 82 cm

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

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

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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.


Leiden 1606 - 1669 Amsterdam


Woman Bathing Her Feet at a Brook
Etching and drypoint on Japanese paper , 16,2 x 8,2 cm

The New Hollstein (Hinterding/Rutgers) 309/I (of II) White/Boon 200



Bologna 1629 - 1700


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

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

Private Collection, Paris

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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.


Gorkum, circa 1607 – 1681, Rotterdam


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



Nuremberg 1471-1528


Satyr Family
Engraving on paper, 11,5 x 7,2 cm

Schoch/Mende/Scherbaum 44/a-b (of d) Meder 65/a-b (of d)