Details & Cataloguing

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale


Oskar Schlemmer
1888 - 1943
oil and graphite on canvas
40.6 by 29.5cm., 15 7/8 by 11 3/4 in.
Executed in 1928.
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Collection Ida Bienert, Dresden
Margaret Rupé, Munich
Marlborough Fine Art, London
The Riklis Collection of McCrory Corporation (acquired in 1969)


Munich, Haus der Kunst; Düsseldorf, Städtische Kunstsammlungen & Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, Die Maler am Bauhaus, 1950, no. 231
Stuttgart, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Oskar Schlemmer, Gedächtnisausstellung zum 10-jährigen Todestag, 1953, no. 85
Munich, Haus der Kunst, Oskar Schlemmer, Ausstellung zum Gedächtnis an seinen 10. Todestag, 1953, no. 74


Will Grohmann, 'Sammlung Ida Bienert, Dresden', in Museum der Gegenwart, Berlin, 1932,  mentioned p. 66
Will Grohmann, 'Die Sammlung Ida Bienert, Dresden', in Privatsammlungen neuer Kunst, Potsdam, 1933, vol. I, illustrated fig. 75 (with incorrect measurements and as dating from 1929)
Hans Hildebrandt, Oskar Schlemmer, Monografie und Werkverzeichnis, Munich, 1952, no. 167 (as dating from 1929)
Willy Rotzler, Konstruktive Konzepte, Eine Geschichte der konstruktiven Kunst vom Kubismus bis heute, Zurich, 1977, no. 505, illustrated p. 288
Karin v. Maur, Oskar Schlemmer. Oeuvrekatalog der Gemälde, Aquarelle, Pastelle und Plastiken, Munich, 1979, no. G 172, illustrated p. 78


Oskar Schlemmer’s important role at the Bauhaus - both in terms of personal artistic achievement and professorial influence there - continues to inform our understanding of inter-war culture in Germany, as well as cultural developments further afield. The innovative and highly stylised paintings and sculptures that the artist produced during his time at the Bauhaus were distinctive in that they were almost all figurative, in 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, possess an enchanting sense of mystical acuity. Kopf nach links, which was executed as a study for one of the artist’s murals at the Folkwang Museum in Essen, is a powerful example of Schlemmer’s extraordinary aesthetic and a precious link to the now tragically lost murals. The artist not only produced paintings and sculptures, but also choreographed balletic productions and designed stage sets, all of which placed the human figure at the centre.  Of course, Bauhaus Staircase, 1932, in MoMA’s collection is considered the artist’s masterpiece.

Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale