Lot 322
  • 322

Conrad Felixmüller

250,000 - 350,000 GBP
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  • Conrad Felixmüller
  • Kinderfastnachtstreiben (Children carnival bustle)
  • signed C. Felixmüller and dated 1926 Februar (upper left); signed Conrad Felixmüller, dated 1926 and numbered WN-365 on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 160 by 100.5cm., 63 by 39 3/4 in.


Private Collection, Germany (acquired directly from the artist in 1973; sale: Christie's, London, 23rd June 2010)
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Dresden, Stadt, Internationale Kunstausstellung zur Gartenbauausstellung und Jahresschau Deutscher Arbeit, 1926, no. 685, illustrated in the catalogue (titled as Kinderfastnacht)
Braunschweig, Haus der Gesellschaft der Freunde Junger Kunst, Conrad Felixmüller, 1927, no. 2 (titled as Kinderkarneval)
Essen, Kunsthallen Hansahaus, Conrad Felixmüller, Sonderausstellung, 1927, no. 13 (titled as Kinderkarneval)
Darmstadt, Neue Hessische Arbeitsgemeinschaft für bildende Kunst, Städtisches Ausstellungsgebäude Mathildenhöhe, Neue Kunst, Berlin, Darmstadt, München, 1927, no. 23 (titled as Kinderkarneval)
Berlin, Landesausstellungsgelände am Lehrter Bahnhof, Grosse Berliner Kunstausstellung, 1928, no. 247 (titled as Kinderkarneval)
Berlin, Galerie Fritz Gurlitt (& travelling within Europe), Conrad Felixmüller, Sonderausstellung, 1929, n.n. (titled as Kindermasken)
Halle, Moritzburg, Conrad Felixmüller, Gemälde und Graphik, 1949, no. 3 (titled as Kinderfastnacht)
Berlin, (Ehemalige) Nationalgalerie, Conrad Felixmüller, Malerei von 1913-1973, 1973, no. 12, illustrated in the catalogue (titled as Kinderfastnacht)
Dresden, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, Albertinum (& travelling), Conrad Felixmüller, Gemälde, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Druckgraphik, 1975, no. 22, illustrated in the catalogue (titled as Kinderfastnacht)
Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall (& travelling within Germany), Conrad Felixmüller 1897-1977, 1978, no. 96 (titled as Kinderfastnacht)
Hamburg, Interversa (& travelling within Germany), Conrad Felixmüller 1897-1977, 1981, no. 19, illustrated in the catalogue


Reclams Universum, vol. XIX, 1927, illustrated n.p.
Die Kunst, no. 31, 1930, illustrated p. 303
Dieter Gleisberg, Conrad Felixmüller, Leben und Werk, Dresden, 1982, illustrated pl. 121
Heinz Spielmann (ed.), Conrad Felixmüller, Monographie und Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Cologne, 1996, no. 365, illustrated p. 253


The canvas is not lined. UV examination reveals two fine lines of retouching (each approximately 20cm long) towards the left part of the upper edge and some very small retouchings to the centre of the upper edge associated with frame rubbing. There is a further area of retouching (approximately 6cm long) to the black hat worn by the figure in the foreground and a few smaller spots in places, none of which are distracting. There is a horizontal stretcher bar mark across the centre of the canvas with some associated fine lines of craquelure and some very minor flecks of paint loss. There are a few further flecks of paint loss to the left part of the upper edge. This work is in overall good condition.
"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.

Catalogue Note

Born into a working class background, Conrad Felixmüller's created works that were strongly influenced by an Expressionism, which he interpreted in a socio-critical way and soon transformed into his own form of expressive Realism: ‘It has become increasingly clear to me that the only necessary goal is to depict the direct, simple life which one has lived oneself, also involving the design of colour as painting—in the manner in which it was cultivated by the Old Masters for centuries, until Impressionism and Expressionism, infected by the technical and industrial delusions of grandeur, rejected every affinity for tradition, ability and results, committing hara-kiri’ (Sergiusz Michalski, New Objectivity, Cologne, 1994, p. 62). The artist’s œuvre reflects this desire to depict the realities of post war Germany. However, despite the strong humanistic inclination, Felixmüller’s art is less biting and politically charged than that of some of his contemporaries.

The present work is a wonderful example of Felixmüller’s style and undoubtedly one of the most light hearted works within his œuvre. The two boys in the foreground and believed to be the artist’s sons Luca and Titus and the cheerful depiction of a children's carnival in vibrant colours is a celebration of the joys and the innocence of childhood. The complex composition and the rich and colourful details make Kinderfastnachtstreiben a true masterpiece of Felixmüller’s very own New Objectivity.