Lot 103
  • 103

OSKAR SCHLEMMER | Drei Blonde schräg (Three Blondes Diagonally)

200,000 - 300,000 GBP
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  • Oskar Schlemmer
  • Drei Blonde schräg (Three Blondes Diagonally)
  • signed Schlemmer and dated 7.8.28 (lower right)
  • watercolour and pencil on paper
  • 56.2 by 44cm., 22 1/8 by 17 3/8 in.
  • Executed on 7th August 1928.


Tut Schlemmer, Stuttgart (the artist's wife)
Museum der Bildenden Künste, Breslau (acquired from the above in March 1931 and deaccessioned as degenerate art on 29 September 1937, inventory number 24068
Reichsministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, Berlin
Galerie Dr. F.C. Valentien, Stuttgart (acquired from the above)
Prof. Erich Wiese, Breslau & Darmstadt
Karl Ströher, Darmstadt (acquired in 1952)
Dr. Erika Pohl-Ströher, Switzerland (by descent from the above in 1977)
Thence by descent to the present owner in 2016


Berlin, Galerie Neumann und Nierendorf, Oskar Schlemmer und Franz Xaver, 1928, no. 5
Basel, Kunsthalle, Bauhaus Dessau, Albers, Feininger, Kandinsky, Klee, Schlemmer, 1929, no. 144
Wiesbaden, Nassauischer Kunstverein, 30 Deutsche Künstler aus unserer Zeit, 1930, no. 115 (titled as Drei Blonde)
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Emil Nolde, Jules Pascin, Oskar Schlemmer, 1931, no. 141
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Kunst unserer Zeit, Privatsammlung Karl Ströher, 1954, no. 160
Wiesbaden, Nassauischer Kunstverein, Kunst unserer Zeit, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 1955, no. 181
Kiel, Kunsthalle, Deutsche Aquarelle von der Romantik bis zur Gegenwart, 1960, no. 130
London, Marlborough Fine Art, Painters of Bauhaus, 1962, no. 175
Hamburg, Kunstverein, Meister des Aquarells aus der Deutschen Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, 1963, no. 161
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 2, 1965-66, no. 121, illustrated in the catalogue
Munich, Galerie Verein, Neue Pinakothek und Haus der Kunst; Hamburg, Kunstverein (& traveling), Sammlung Karl Ströher, 1968, no. 119, illustrated in the catalogue


Hans Hildebrandt, Oskar Schlemmer, Munich, 1952, no. 605
Bildnerische Ausdrucksformen 1910-1960, Sammlung Karl Ströher (exhibition catalogue), Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, 1970, illustrated p. 170
Karin von Maur, Oskar Schlemmer, Œuvrekatalog der Gemälde, Aquarelle, Pastelle und Plastiken, Munich, 1979, no. A356, illustrated p. 292
Erika Pohl, Ursula Ströher & Gerhard Pohl (ed.), Karl Ströher, Sammler und Sammlung, Stuttgart, 1982, no. 513, illustrated p. 324


Please note that there is a professional condition report for this work, please contact mariella.salazar@sothebys.com to request a copy.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.

Catalogue Note

Oskar Schlemmer’s pivotal role at the Bauhaus—both in terms of personal artistic achievement and professorial influence—continues to inform our understanding of inter-war culture in Germany and his impact on larger cultural developments. The innovative and highly stylised paintings and sculptures produced during his time at the Bauhaus were distinctive in their figuration, a contrast to the general focus on Abstraction that surrounded him there. Amidst the pioneering abstract painters who also taught at the Bauhaus, including Kandinsky and Klee, Schlemmer continued to reinvent the figurative tradition of Western art. Schlemmer’s works, which were informed by his belief that the human form possessed an irreducibly truthful form, emanate an enchanting sense of mystical acuity. Throughout his career, Schlemmer created a dazzling array of works in various media, including paintings, drawings, sculptures and murals but also stage sets and costumes. The human form always remained at the heart of all his artistic efforts. In Drei Blonde schräg, the artist did not aim to construct a narrative or allegorical composition. Instead, he chose to follow his belief in the dramatic impact of the simple actions of the human body in movement: standing, turning, coming and going.

The present work is a rare example of Schlemmer’s artistic output at the height of his career. While most of the pioneering artists who taught at the Bauhaus championed geometric abstraction as the best way to express artistic vision, Oskar Schlemmer was unique among them for pursuing a unique proto-classical ideal that advocated the form of the human figure to be the irreducible truth in, what was for him, an otherwise volatile and mysterious universe. Drei Blonde schräg reflects the simplified, highly geometric figuration that Schlemmer developed during his Bauhaus years and embodies the artist’s aim at synthesising his fascination with space and architecture, but also the human body, movement and dance.