LOTS 403-405

L15004_morgenstern_1Maximilian Morgenstern, circa 1930s.

Sotheby’s is delighted to present these three works on paper by Alfred Kubin acquired directly from the artist by Maximilian Morgenstern. Morgenstern was a Jewish textile merchant and Viennese collector but also a friend, admirer and patron to Kubin. Brought together in an organic and learned manner, the Morgenstern Collection is probably the most significant group of Kubin’s works assembled during the artist’s lifetime. These three illustrations, offered for the first time, have remained with the heir of Morgenstern up until the present day. So close was the relationship between artist and patron that as well as inscribing several of his works to Morgenstern, Kubin also depicted him with a halo in the guise of St Martin of Tours. St  Martin was predominantly known for the legend of St Martin’s cloak, an account of his using his military sword to cut his cloak in two, in order to give half to a beggar clad only in rags. Maximillian Morgenstern was Kubin’s protector in real life so it was a tale which resonated with their relationship. In 1909 Kubin had published his famous novel Die andere Seite (The other side), establishing not only his literary career but also his reputation as an illustrator. He would go on to work intensively in this field over the following two decades and the present works are fascinating early examples of this aspect of his output.