Lot 107
  • 107

ALEXEJ VON JAWLENSKY | Genfer See mit blauem Berg (Lake Geneva with Blue Mountain)

350,000 - 500,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Alexej von Jawlensky
  • Genfer See mit blauem Berg (Lake Geneva with Blue Mountain)
  • signed with the artist’s initials (lower left); dated 1915 and titled by Galka Scheyer on the reverse
  • oil on linen-finished paper laid down on board
  • 26 by 35cm., 10 1/4 by 13 3/4 in.
  • Painted in 1915.


Josefine Eyerle, Wiesbaden (acquired directly from the artist in October 1934)
Galerie 59, Aschaffenburg
Karl Ströher, Darmstadt (acquired in 1960)
Dr. Erika Pohl-Ströher, Switzerland (by descent from the above in 1977)
Thence by descent to the present owner in 2016


(possibly) Wiesbaden, Stadtisches Museum, Moderne Kunst aus Wiesbadener Privatbesitz, 1957, no. 77 (titled as Berg)
Darmstadt, Hessisches Landesmuseum, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 2, 1965, no. 46, illustrated in the catalogue
Darmstadt, Landesmuseum, Bildnerische Ausdrucksformen 1910-1960, Sammlung Karl Ströher, 1970, n.n., illustrated in the catalogue
Bonn, Städtische Kunstsammlungen, Alexej von Jawlensky, 1971, no. 35
Zurich, Kunsthaus, Jawlensky in der Schweiz, 2001-02, no. 5


Erika Pohl, Ursula Ströher & Gerhard Pohl (ed.), Karl Ströher, Sammler und Sammlung, Stuttgart, 1982, no. 247, illustrated p. 124
Maria Jawlensky, Lucia Pieroni-Jawlensky & Angelica Jawlensky, Alexej von Jawlensky, Catalogue raisonné of the Oil Paintings, 1914-1933, London, 1992, vol. II, no. 661, illustrated p. 60


Please note that there is a professional condition report for this work, please contact mariella.salazar@sothebys.com to request a copy.
"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

Painted in 1915, this vibrant landscape encapsulates Jawlensky’s dedication to lyrical expressionism. The present scene captures a view across Lake Geneva, where Jawlensky settled after the outbreak of the First World War. Moving from Munich to the safe haven of Saint-Prex in Switzerland, the artist repeatedly painted this view from his window. A small but powerful landscape, Jawlensky depicts the lake, overlapping mountains and dynamic sky, using broad strokes of pure colour which harmoniously lead the viewer’s eye across the scene. The sky is a cacophony of different hues and tones, typical of the artist’s palette and a reaction to academic traditions. In 1905, Jawlensky’s works were exhibited at the Salon d’Automne in Paris alongside the Fauve artists who had an instrumental impact on his œuvre. The artist’s abandonment of representational colour in favour of spontaneous brushstrokes resonates strongly with the landscapes Matisse painted at the height of his Fauve period. It draws inspiration from Van Gogh, Matisse and Van Dongen. Completed at the height of Jawlensky’s involvement with Der Blaue Reiter group which aimed to refine a new artistic style based on bold colour, line-work and rhythm. For Jawlensky, art became the expression of pure emotion. As he explains in his memoir: ‘I started trying to express through painting what I felt nature prompting me to say. By means of hard work and tremendous concentration I gradually found the right colours and forms to express what my spiritual-self demanded’. (quoted in Alexej Jawlensky. Heads, Faces, Meditations, London/New York, 1971; reprinted in  Alexej von Jawlensky: Catalogue raisoneé of the Oil Paintings, vol. I 1890-1914, London, 1991, in translation by Edith Künster and J.A Underwood, as ‘Memoir dictated to Lisa Kümmel, Wiesbaden, 1937’, pp. 25-33), and is testament to Jawlensky’s pioneering position in the Expressionist movement.

The present work is titled and dated on the reverse by Galka Scheyer, a painter, dealer and collector who was instrumental in the foundation of Die Blauen Vier in 1924 (the group which included Wassily Kandinsky, Lyonel Feininger and Paul Klee as well as Jawlensky). In 1920, Scheyer organised an exhibition of Jawlensky's works, which was to travel Germany for three years until 1923. It is likely that the present work was titled by Scheyer on this occasion. Scheyer keenly promoted the work of Die Blauen Vier in the United States, encouraging greater recognition for these artists outside Europe.