This colourful and freely drawn watercolour may relate to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's Faust, the celebrated tragic play that was published in 1832. The figure on the right, leaning against the wall, could well be the evil Mephistopheles, while the couple descending the flight of steps, may be Faust and his lover Gretchen.
This watercolour was once owned by Edward Croft Murray, highly respected art historian and Keeper of the Department of Prints and Drawings at the British Museum from 1954 to 1973.
This work has been well preserved. The colours are strong and fresh. The sheet has been laid. "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."