Lot 304
  • 304

ALFRED KUBIN | Die Todesstunde (The Hour of Death)

100,000 - 150,000 GBP
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  • Alfred Kubin
  • Die Todesstunde (The Hour of Death)
  • signed AKubin (upper left) and again faintly AKubin (lower right) and titled (lower centre); with the Max Morgenstern Collection Stamp on the verso
  • pen and ink, wash and Spritztechnik on Kataster paper
  • image: 28.4 by 15cm., 11 1/4 by 6in.
  • sheet: 37 by 24cm., 14 1/2 by 9 1/2 in.
  • Executed in 1900.


Maximilian (Max) & Hertha Morgenstern, Vienna (acquired directly from the artist)
Dr. Kurt Otte, Hamburg (acquired from the above in June 1938)
Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Munich (acquired from the above in 1971)
Restituted by the above to the heirs of Max & Hertha Morgenstern in 2019


Vienna, Albertina Wien, Alfred Kubin, Handzeichnungen, Aquarelle und druckgraphische Arbeiten, 1937, no. 12
Baden-Baden, Staatliche Kunsthalle; Munich, Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste & Vienna, Graphische Sammlung Albertina, Alfred Kubin, Das zeichnerische Frühwerk bis 1904, 1977, no. 27
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Experiment Weltuntergang, Wien um 1900, 1981, no. 253
Paris, Centre Georges Pompidou, Vienne 1990-1938, L'Apocalypse joyeuse, 1986, n.n., illustrated in the catalogue
Passau, Festspiele Europäische Woche, Kubin und die phantastische Kunst, 1987, no. 1
Munich, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus & Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Alfred Kubin 1877-1959, 1990-91, no. 39, illustrated in the catalogue
New York, Neue Galerie, Alfred Kubin: 1897-1909, 2008-09, no. 6, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Picasso, Beckmann, Nolde und die Moderne. Meisterwerke aus frühen Privatsammlungen in Hamburg, 2001, no. 77, illustrated in colour in the catalogue 
Munich, Lenbachhaus & Vienna, Albertina Wien, Der Blaue Reiter, Tanz der Farben, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen und Druckgraphik aus dem Lenbachhaus, 2010-11, no. 132, illustrated in colour in the catalogue
Nottingham, Nottingham Contemporary, Alfred Kubin. The Other Side, 2012, no. 5, illustrated in colour in the catalogue 


Hans von Weber (ed.), Facsimiledrucke nach Kunstblättern von Alfred Kubin, Munich, 1903, illustration of the portfolio version pl. 13
Hermann Esswein, Alfred Kubin, Der Künstler und sein Werk, Munich, 1911, p. 22
H. Boulboullé, Menschendarstellungen in der deutschen Kunst des beginnenden 20. Jahrhunderts (phd dissertation), Gottingen, 1948, p. 99
Alfred Kubin zum 125. Geburtstag (exhibition catalogue), Pinzgau, Badhaus zu Leogang, 2002, illustration of the portfolio version n.p.
L'Ange du Bizarre, Le Romantisme noir de Goya à Max Ernst (exhibition catalogue), Paris, Musée d'Orsay, 2013, illustration of the portfolio version n.n.
Phantastisch! Alfred Kubin und der Blaue Reiter (exhibition catalogue), Munich, Lenbachhaus, 2018, illustration of the portfolio version p. 219

Catalogue Note

The Clock The Clock, calm evil god, that makes us shiver,
With threatening finger warns us each apart:
"Remember! Soon the vibrant woes will quiver,
Like arrows in a target, in your heart.

To the horizon Pleasure will take flight
As flits a vaporous sylphide to the wings.
Each instant gnaws a crumb of the delight
That for his season every mortal brings.

Three thousand times and more, each hour, the second
Whispers 'Remember!' Like an insect shrill
The present chirps, 'With Nevermore I'm reckoned,
I've pumped your lifeblood with my loathsome bill.'

Remember! Souviens-toi I Esto Memor!
My brazen windpipe speaks in every tongue.
Each moment, foolish mortal, is like ore
From which the precious metal must be wrung.

Remember. Time the gamester (it's the law)
Wins always, without cheating. Daylight wanes.
Night deepens. The abyss with gulfy maw
Thirsts on unsated, while the hour-glass drains.

Sooner or later, now, the time must be
When Hazard, Virtue (your still-virgin mate),
Repentance, (your last refuge), or all three —
Will tell you, 'Die, old Coward. It's too late!'

(Charles Baudelaire, 'The Clock' in Les Fleurs du Mal, 1857translated by Roy Campbell, Poems of Baudelaire, New York, 1952)

This work is recorded in the Kubin Archiv at the Lenbachhaus, Munich under no. 185.