Lot 5
  • 5


600,000 - 800,000 EUR
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  • Hans Hartung
  • T 1950-3
  • signed Hartung and dated 50 (lower right)
  • oil on canvas
  • 97 x 146 cm; 38 9/16 x 57 1/2 in.
  • Painted in 1950.


Galerie Louis Carré, Paris (acquired directly from the artist in 1950)
André Bernheim, Paris
Galerie Rudolf Zwirner, Cologne
European Collection (acquired in 1982) 


New York, Galerie Louis Carré, Advancing French Art, 1950
Venice, Biennale de Venise, XXX Biennale  XXX Biennale Internazionale d'Arte di Venezia, 1960, no. 43, p. 220
Vienna, Museum des 20. Jahrhunderts; Zurich, Kunsthaus; Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts; Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum; Hans Hartung, February 1963 - January 1964, no. 36
Saint-Paul de Vence, Fondation Maeght, Dix ans d'art vivant 1945-1955, 9 April - 31 May 1966
Paris, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Houston, Museum of Fine Arts; Hans Hartung, 7 January - 6 July 1969, no. 33
Dusseldorf, Städtische Kunsthalle, Hans Hartung, 12 September - 11 Ocober 1981
Paris, Centre Pompidou, Les Années 50, 30 June - 17 October 1988; catalogue, p.78, illustrated in colour


Dominique Aubier, Hartung, Le Musée de Poche, Paris, 1961, p. 31, illustrated in colour
Pierre Descargues, Hartung, Paris 1977, p. 166, no. 129, illustrated
Jörn Merkert Jörn, Hans Hartung, Malerei, Zeichnung, Photographie, Städtische Kunsthalle, Düsseldorf, 1981


The colours are fairly accurate in the printed catalogue illustration however the overall tonality is lighter in the original work. Faint wear marks are located along the edges and corners. The canvas is visible along the upper edge close to the right corner. There is a small imperfection to the canvas, prior to the execution of the work, to the upper left quadrant. There is a faint wear mark along the lower edge in the center of the composition. Under Ultra Violet Light inspection there is no evidence of restoration. This work is in 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

Seeing Hartung again in Paris conveys a strange impression of expansion of time. (...) With his invective-sounding name and the fulminations and violence that marked his life, Hartung is one of the most prominent figures of the 20th century, an artist who brought painting to such a radical point that its consequences not only shook up his time but continue to open up new horizons: a unique vision of the world and of the relationship between men and their environment in modern art history. Hartung's work is rooted in the childhood experience of lightning and bolts, and precociously manifested in his first abstract watercolors made at the age of 17. They served as a sort of treasure map, the program of a research he dedicated the rest of his life to. Hartung got the intuition of a new space he never ceased to explore and expand. A space of motion, spontaneity and control where the body is tangled; a space on a sheet of paper or at the surface of a canvas that would be removed from the image and even the form. Fabrice Hergott, foreword of exhibition catalogue of Hans Hartung, La fabrique du geste, Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris, 2019-2020


1950 was a pivotal year in Hans Hartung's career, who then hosted Mark Rothko in Paris and had an exhibition travel to New York, Chicago, Washington and San Francisco thanks to the famous gallery owner Louis Carré. T1950-3 was painted that very year and is undoubtedly one of the masterpieces executed by the artist, whose grandiose retrospective is now on view at the Musée d'art moderne de la ville de Paris. With its dense, charred colour palette, its enigmatic background morphing progressively into a separate range of colours and its energetic spirals invigorating the center of the composition, T1950-3 is indeed a quintessential artwork. At the turn of the century, Hans Hartung set out to reflect his renewed enthusiasm for his work in his art, without ever yielding the rigorous mastery of his craft.

This work is registered in the archives of the Fondation Hartung Bergman. It will be included in the forthcoming Catalogue Raisonné of Hans Hartung currently being prepared by the Fondation Hartung Bergman.