- Max Pechstein
- Stilleben vor einem Spiegel (Still Life in Front of a Mirror)
- Signed HMPechstein and dated 1917 (lower left)
- Oil on canvas
- 31 1/4 by 27 3/4 in.
- 79.5 by 70.5 cm
Private Collection, Japan (acquired in Germany in the 1920s; thence by descent and sold: Christie's, London, June 18, 2007, lot 74)
Acquired at the above sale
Berlin, Kunstsalon Fritz Gurlitt, Max Pechstein, Teil I, Bildnisse, Landschaeften, Stilleben, 1918, no. 35 (possibly)
Karl Scheffler, "Max Pechstein" in Kunst und Künstler, October 1918, vol. IIIXX, no. 1, illustrated p. 31
Karl Scheffler, Talente, Berlin, 1921, illustrated p. 163
Aya Soika, Max Pechstein: Das Werkverzeichnis der Ölgemälde, 1905-1918, vol. I, Berlin, 2011, no. 1917/16, illustrated p. 492
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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
During these inter-war years Pechstein revived the brilliant colors of his pre-war style which he applied in thick brushstrokes. The luscious coloration of saturated yellows, reds and greens and the application of black contours seem to draw inspiration from French Fauve painting as well as the works of Paul Cézanne and Vincent van Gogh. Heavily painted with bold sweeps of thick color Stilleben vor einem Spiegel is in line with the artist’s formal explorations at the time, demonstrating his determination to break through the traditional boundaries of painterly representation. Pechstein responds faithfully to Expressionist ideas aimed toward a distortion of form and perspective and a stridency of color and vision; the bold and simplified forms and distinctive black outlines brilliantly exemplify the artist's continuous experimentation with the painterly language of Expressionism. In the present work Pechstein creates a panorama of form and strong color that in its density conveys a powerful sense of the solidity and materiality of the still life. The powerful composition with its picture plane tilted up towards the viewer provides a feeling of being fully immersed within the composition.