Lot 86
  • 86

Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld

Estimate
12,000 - 15,000 GBP
bidding is closed

Description

  • Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld
  • 'the converter of the heathen'
  • Pen and brown and black ink, with two pentimenti on separate pieces of paper, cut out and pasted to the main sheet;
    signed and dated in brown ink, lower right: J. Schnorr. 19 Sept. 39
    inscribed, upper centre: IV. Bekehrer der Heiden

Condition

Unframed. The sheet has been slightly cut at the upper edge. In very good condition, the paper clear and the ink still strong.
"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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."

Catalogue Note

This is a previously unknown early study - perhaps the earliest of all - for the wall painting depicting the Conversion of the Saxons by Charlemagne, executed in 1842 by Friedrich Giessmann, on the basis of the designs by Schnorr.1  The painting was one of six large compositions illustrating the life of Charlemagne, which were made for a dedicated room in the Munich Residenz, and destroyed during World War II.

Previously, the known studies for this important painting consisted of a dated pen and wash drawing of 1840, in the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, several individual figure studies, dated 1841, and the large cartoon, now in the R├╝stkammer, Dresden, also dated 1841. The present drawing sheds new light on Schnorr's early ideas for the composition. Here we see to the left a large stone cross, before which a monk attempts to convert several people. In the Berlin drawing, this motif has been moved to the right, while to the left Schnorr has included a large oak tree. Even within the present drawing, we see the artist making revisions: two of the figure groups, in the lower left corner and towards the bottom right, are here redrawn on separate pieces of paper, which have been cut out and pasted down on the original sheet. 

1.  See Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld. Aus dem Leben Karls des Grossen, exh. cat., Dresden 2000, pp. 72-9, fig. 4