Property from a Private Collection, Germany
BAUHAUS-DRUCKE. NEUE EUROPÄISCHE GRAPHIK. ERSTE MAPPE: MEISTER DES STAATLICHEN BAUHAUSES IN WEIMAR
The exceptionally rare complete portfolio, comprising four woodcuts, two etchings, and eight lithographs, two printed in colors and two with handcoloring, all extremely fine, fresh impressions, 1921, this copy no. 66 from the total edition of 130, each signed, eight dated, with title, justification and table of contents, on various papers, nine with the blindstamp of the printer and publisher, Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar, contained in the original vellum-covered boards (14 prints)
overall approx.: 575 by 460 by 30 mm 22⅝ by 18⅛ by 1¼ in
The prints are in very good condition, the full sheets with the original paper folders. Several with an occasional slight crease in the margins and 'Die Katzen', 'Farbform 2' and the title page each with a tiny tear at the sheet edge. The portfolio cover with slight wear at the edges and interior seams and a few scuffs and spots of surface soiling. (Most versos with small hinges and associated adhesive residue in the upper corners, likely original, showing slightly through in spots.)
For condition reports on the individual prints, please contact the department.
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.
The portfolio comprises:
Lyonel Feininger, Villa am Strand (Prasse W 226), woodcut
Lyonel Feininger, Spaziergänger (Prasse W 113), woodcut
Johannes Itten, Spruch (Itten 223), lithograph printed in colors
Johannes Itten, Haus des weißen Mannes (Architektonische Studie) (Itten 222), lithograph
Paul Klee, Die Heilige vom inneren Licht (Kornfeld 81), lithograph printed in colors
Paul Klee, Hoffmaneske scene (Kornfeld 82), lithograph printed in colors
Gerhard Marcks, Die Katzen (Lammek H 27), woodcut
Gerhard Marcks, Die Eule (Lammek H 28), woodcut
Georg Muche, Tierkopf (Schiller 12), etching
Georg Muche, Radierung (Schiller 13), etching
Oskar Schlemmer, Figur H2 (Schlemmer GL 7), lithograph
Oskar Schlemmer, Figurenplan K1 (Schlemmer GL 8), lithograph
Lothar Schreyer, Farbform 6 aus Bühnen werk "Kindsterben", lithograph with handcoloring
Lothar Schreyer, Farbform 2 aus Bühnen werk "Kindsterben", lithograph with handcoloring
“Noch nie war die vorwarts drängende Künstlerschaft einer Zeit so einig im Bewusstsein ihres Sendung und darum trotz aller Hemmnisse so nahe beieinander wie heute.”
“Never before have the forward-looking artists of a time been so united in the focus of their mission and therefore, despite all obstacles, as close to one another as today.” (The critic E. Wiese in his review of the portfolio in Der Cicerone, XIV (1922), p. 169)
In 1921, the Masters of the Bauhaus in Weimar announced a plan to produce five print portfolios representing the most significant artists in Germany, France, Holland, Italy and Russia with the dual aim of securing greater financial independence and gaining broader recognition for the Bauhaus and its ideas. By 1923, four of the portfolios had been published, but the project for the second portfolio dedicated to French artists was abandoned due to both postwar tension and economic difficulties.
The first portfolio was reserved for Masters of the Bauhaus (Meister des Staatlichen Bauhauses in Weimar) and included two works by each of the institution's most prominent teachers. Lyonel Feininger, the Master of Form of the printing workshop, was responsible for the monumental project. Feininger not only planned the lettering for the title page, index and colophon for all four portfolios in addition to designing the cover for the first, he also oversaw the printing of the entire edition.
Despite contemporary excitement for the project, Neue Europäische Graphik experienced limited commercial success and a large portion of the edition remained unsold when the Bauhaus was forced to move from Weimar to Dessau in 1925. Additionally, the destruction of “degenerate art” by the Nazis led to many copies of the edition being lost. As a result, complete portfolios are extremely rare.
The range of style and technique represented in the portfolio illustrates that the Bauhaus was not defined by a single aesthetic and reflects the collaborative nature of the community of artists and craftsmen who were unified by their belief in the mission of the Bauhaus. The Neue Europäische Graphik thus exemplifies the early innovations of the Bauhaus, which grew to become the most influential school of art and design of the 20th century.