From Anker to Zao Wou-Ki

From Anker to Zao Wou-Ki

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 15. Self-portrait in a landscape.

Hermann Scherer

Self-portrait in a landscape

Lot Closed

December 15, 01:14 PM GMT


200,000 - 300,000 CHF

Lot Details


Hermann Scherer

1893 - 1927

Self-portrait in a landscape

Oil on canvas

Signed lower right

110 x 161 cm (unframed); 120.5 x 171 cm (framed)

Executed circa 1920

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Private collection, Switzerland since the 1920s (thence by descent)

Hermann Scherer was born in Rümmingen, Germany, in 1893 and settled permanently in Switzerland during the First World War. He decided to paint in addition to his sculptural activities in 1922, after discovering the Edvard Munch retrospective in Zurich. The following year, he met Ernest Ludwig Kirchner and took up a residency with him near Davos. From then on, the artist definitively distanced himself from the ideal classicism characteristic of his early works: he unleashed his subjectivity and created paintings of great expressiveness. At the end of 1924, Scherer co-founded the "Rot-Blau" group in Mendrisiotto together with Albert Müller and Paul Camenisch.

This self-portrait is characteristic of Scherer’s powerful pictorial inventions inspired by the local landscapes. The artist depicts himself surrounded by wild nature, devoid of any industrial traces. He gazes downwards, uses a cane to walk through exaggeratedly tortuous valleys and carries his painting material with him. No academic considerations are used to express the raw feelings the artist experiences facing nature. The unstructured perspective evokes medieval compositions in which picture planes overlap. Trees and plants are depicted schematically and dynamically, with broad brushstrokes. Primary and bold colours are favoured contributing to the vivacity of the work. This painting is a real discovery and has never left its owners since the 1920s. 

This work will be included in the Catalogue Raisonné of the artist currently being prepared by Martin Schwander.