Lot 5
  • 5

Karl Blechen

12,000 - 18,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Karl Blechen
  • Mühle im Tal (Mill in a valley) 
  • oil on paper laid on panel
  • 18 by 26.3cm., 7¼ by 10¼in.


Julius and Clara Freund, Berlin and Winterthur
The Estate of Julius Freund (by descent from the above; forced sale: Galerie Theodor Fischer, Lucerne, Sammlung Julius Freund, 21 March 1942, lot 37)
Dr Alexander von Frey, Lucerne (purchased at the above sale)
Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (by exchange with the above)
Hermann Göring (acquired from the above) 
Adolf Hitler (a gift from the above; on deposit with the 'Führerbau' in Munich from 1942)
Recovered by the Allies from the Altaussee salt mines in Austria and sent to the Munich Central Collecting Point (inv. no. 9386)
Bundesrepublik Deutschland (returned from the Munich Central Collecting Point on 6 June 1949; on loan to the Kurpfälzisches Museum der Stadt Heidelberg, Heidelberg 1967-2009)
Restituted to the heirs of Julius Freund in 2009


Heidelberg, Kurpfälzisches Museum der Stadt Heidelberg (permanent collection 1967-2009)
Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Carl Blechen. Zwischen Romantik und Realismus, 1990, no. 71


Paul Ortwin Rave, 'Karl Blechen', Denkmäler deutscher Kunst, Berlin 1940, p. 149, no. 153, catalogued 
Peter-Klaus Schuster, Carl Blechen. Zwischen Romantik und Realismus, Berlin, 1990, p. 125, no. 71, catalogued & illustrated
Günther Haase, Die Kunstsammlung Adolf Hitler. Eine Dokumentation, Berlin 2002, p. 209, listed in facsimile of the Hitler Collection inventory (inv. no. 2278)
Nancy H. Yeide, Beyond the Dreams of Avarice: The Hermann Goering Collection, Dallas, 2009, p. 423, no. B11

Catalogue Note

While in the collection of Julius Freund, the painting carried the title Mühle in der sächsischen Schweiz, which was presumably why Rave (who never saw the painting) classified it among the works Blechen made during his sojourn in Saxony in 1823.

However, as Helmut Börsch-Supan posits in the 1990 Berlin exhibition catalogue, the angular rock formations point to the landscape of the Harz mountains, possibly even the Bodetal (Bode Valley), which Blechen visited in 1833. The broad, geometric brushstrokes, and bright supernatural palette, are also typical of his work of this later period.