Lot 11
  • 11

Alexander Archipenko

500,000 - 700,000 GBP
881,250 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Alexander Archipenko
  • signed Archipenko (lower left)
  • oil and papier-mâché on panel


(possibly) Private Collection, Germany
Confiscated as entartete Kunst by the National Socialist regime at Bellevuestrasse, Berlin
Recovered by the Monuments, Fine Arts and Archives section of the Allied Forces and brought to the Central Collecting Point, Munich on 19th March 1946 (inv. no. 21947)
Stored at Schloss Kogl, St. Georgen im Attergau, Austria (inv. no. 480/18)
Given to the custody of the Austrian Government, Salzburg on 10th June 1949
Held in trust by the Austrian State until sold for the benefit of the victims of the Holocaust (Sale: Christie's, Vienna, Mauerbach Benefit Sale, 29th October 1996, lot 586)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Berlin, Galerie der Sturm, Alexander Archipenko, 1921, no. 118/25 (as dating from 1920)
Dresden, Galerie Emil Richter, Alexander Archipenko, 1921, no. 27
Munich, Galerie Hans Goltz, Alexander Archipenko, 1921, no. 31
Wiesbaden, Neues Museum Wiesbaden, Alexander Archipenko, 1921, no. 26
Berlin, Fritz Gurlitt, Alexander Archipenko, 1922, no. 36


Hans Hildebrandt, Alexander Archipenko, Berlin, 1923, no. 52, illustrated (titled Still-Life)
Maurice Raynal, A. Archipenko, Rome, 1923, no. 28, illustrated
Kunstausstellung der Sturm, Berlin 1921, no. 118/25 (as Karaffe/Skulptomalerei)
Alexander Archipenko et al., Archipenko: Fifty Creative Years, 1908-1958, New York, 1960, no. 59, illustrated (with incorrect measurements)
Anette Barth, Alexander Archipenkos plastisches Œuvre, Frankfurt, 1997, no. 117, illustrated p. 235 (as dating from 1920-21 and with incorrect measurements)

Catalogue Note

Carafe is a notable example of Archipenko’s carved and painted reliefs, which he named ‘sculpto-peintures’. These highly innovative works, which placed Archipenko at the forefront of the European avant-garde during the second and third decades of the twentieth century, reflect the strong influence on Cubism, particularly the collage technique pioneered by Picasso and Braque. In the present work, this influence is visible not only in the relief technique and the use of papier-mâché, but also in the subject-matter of a still-life showing a carafe on a table-top. The use of different materials and the play of convex and concave surfaces give the composition its dynamic quality, and at the same time reflect Archipenko’s preference for a three-dimensional medium.


The artist himself wrote about this technique: ‘I invented sculpto-painting in 1912. It has its own characteristics, which set it apart from the usual polychrome sculpture such as the Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance. It is designed mostly as a panel uniting colors and forms. Esthetically it is a new character of art, due to its specific interdependencies of relief, concave or perforated forms, colors and textures. Some forms are made in papier-mâché, glass, wood or metal, and so forth. Forms are intermixed with the patterns of colors and of the space between them, in accordance with the particular esthetic or spiritual problem. The subject matter may not be excluded. The nuances of form and color and their interdependencies are as essential and significant as the nuances of sound and silence in music’ (quoted in A. Archipenko et al., op. cit., pp. 40-41).