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西洋古典油畫及素描

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Adolph von Menzel
BRESLAU 1815 - 1905 BERLIN
STUDY OF A CHURCH AND FARMHOUSE
Charcoal and stumping, with touches of pencil;
signed and dated in pencil, lower right: A. Menzel 53.
263 by 372 mm
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來源

Presumably collection Rathenau-Ettlinger, Germany,
assigned to the collection of the proposed Führermuseum, Linz (inv. no. 1153),
recovered by the Allies from the salt mines at Altaussee, Austria and transferred to the Central Collecting Point, Munich on 3 November 1945 (inv. no. 13651),
transferred from the Central Collecting Point, Munich to the Central Collecting Point, Wiesbaden on 29 June 1949,
transferred to the office of the Ministerpresident, Bavaria on 10 August 1951 and subsequently restituted to E. Rathenau and E. Ettlinger, New York and Oxford on 14 September 1954,
George Ettlinger, Twyford, by 1993,
thence by inheritance to his widow Madeline Ettlinger,
by whom gifted to the previous owner in 2003,
sale, London, Sotheby's, 13 June 2006, lot 3

相關資料

Very few artists manage to couple prolific levels of artistic output during the course of a long life with an unerring quality in their work quite as successfully as did the German, Adolph von Menzel.

Though unquestionably a fine painter and accomplished pastellist, history has, quite rightly, most favourably remembered Menzel for his mesmeric work as a draughtsman, the standard of which was, during the course of his lifetime, surpassed by no-one.

This deeply atmospheric sheet, which Dr Ursula Riemann-Reyher has suggested depicts a church in Brunswick, was, it seems, executed during Menzel's visit to the city in 1853 and, as a landscape drawing, is a rarity within the artist’s drawn oeuvre, which predominantly consists of highly accomplished and characterful head and figure studies (see lot 106).

In this drawing Menzel depicts a somewhat ramshackle farmhouse, sitting in the metaphorical shadow of the local church, whose spire towers above the dilapidated building in the foreground to such an extent that it cannot be contained in its entirety within the border of the sheet. The artist couples bold, crisp strokes in charcoal with the liberal but emphatic and distinctive use of stumping, a technique that really came to define Menzel as a draughtsman later in his career but which, even at this relatively early stage, acts as a signature for the artist, so utterly characteristic is it of his work. Indeed whilst many of Menzel’s drawings use stumping to such an extent that very little, if any, of the sheet is left untouched, the present work by contrast shows the artist’s ability and confidence to use the underlying white of the paper, to serve as a luminous contrast to the shadowy midtones located in the canopy of the tree and the bold, dark strokes found in the loft of the farmhouse and church tower.

Within this context, the rarity of Menzel’s landscape drawings cannot be overstated and although the Kupferstichkabinett, Berlin, houses a rich collection, including such works as Katholische Pfarrkirche St. Martin in Jauer von Nordosten1 and the masterful The Schafgraben Flooded,2 when one looks for comparable drawings that have been on the European art market in the last decade only the artist’s On the Mountainside3 and Stadtansicht, Hinterhof in Berlin,4 can be justly compared to the present work.

1. Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett, inv. no. SZ Menzel N 1134
2. See P. Betthausen et al, Adolph Menzel 1815-1905: Master Drawings from East Berlin, exhib. cat., New York, The Frick Collection et al., 1990-1991, p. 59, no. 2, p. 57, reproduced
3. Sale, Berlin, Grisebach, 1 June 2016, lot 208 (112,500 EUR)
4. Sale, Bern, Galerie Kornfeld, 6 June 2008, lot 23 (130,000 CHF)

西洋古典油畫及素描

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倫敦