Property from a Private Collection
1819 - 1877
Le Lac de Starnberg, en Bavière
bears signature and indistinct date lower right; also bears incised inscription Starnberger See / 31 Oct 1869 lower right
oil on canvas
58.5 by 73.5cm., 23 by 29in.
The canvas has a very old lining and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher, possibly the original. This is providing a stable support.
There is some scattered craquelure throughout; however it appears to be stable.
Some small, scattered spots of surface dirt are visible, notably in the sky.
Inspection under ultra-violet light reveals a heavy layer of old residual varnish which prevents it from fully penetrating. However, some strokes of cosmetic retouching are visible along the right framing edge. Other small scattered spots are visible, including two small areas in the sky which have somewhat discoloured in time and are also visible upon close inspection.
Parts of the signature also appear to have been strengthened and fluoresce when inspected under UV light.
Overall, this work is in good condition and is ready to hang.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame with some losses at its corners.
"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.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Bernheim Jeune, Paris (inv. no. 3046 12 82 BJ stencil on reverse)
Ernest Roure (by 1884. Roure was a French Senator and Mayor of Grasse, Provence)
With Rachoffer, Cannes (by 1952)
Le Lac de Starnberg is one of a small number of works relating to Courbet's time in Bavaria, where he stayed from 1 October to 5 November 1869. Six of his paintings were included at that year's Internationale Kunstausstellung at the Glaspalast in Munich, including La Femme au perroquet and l'Hallali du cerf. Recognising his success, King Ludwig II of Bavaria inducted Courbet into the Royal Merit Order of Saint Michael. The present work appears to have been unknown to Robert Fernier, who included one other view of the Starnbergersee in his Courbet catalogue raisonné (no. 673), and is notable for its luminous palette and the impressionistic, painterly approach to the distant mountains.
Courbet's uncompromising work and charismatic personality caused a sensation in Munich, leaving a deep impression on many local artists, notably Wilhelm Leibl. It was on the Frenchman's recommendation that Leibl travelled to Paris that same year. While in Munich Courbet painted La Dame de Munich in two hours while in Wilhelm von Kaulbach's studio, a life-size nude which was later refused from the Salon of 1872 upon the intervention of Meissonier.
To be included in the forthcoming Courbet catalogue raisonné by the Comité Gustave Courbet (letter dated 21 September 2019).