Sale: 350 / Modern Art, June 19. 2009 in Munich Lot 239

 
Max Liebermann - Liebespaar auf einem Spaziergang im Grunewald


239
Max Liebermann
Liebespaar auf einem Spaziergang im Grunewald, 1920.
Oil
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 58,000
Sold:
€ 61,000 / $ 70.760

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot: 239
Max Liebermann
1847 Berlin - 1935 Berlin
Liebespaar auf einem Spaziergang im Grunewald. 1920-22.
Oil on cardboard embossed to imitate canvas.
Eberle 1921/45. Signed lower left. 41,8 x 52,5 cm (16,4 x 20,6 in).

PROVENANCE: Collection Schwarz, Berlin (until 1925).
Paul Graupe, Berlin.
Private collection Switzerland.

EXHIBITION: Auction of the collection Schwarz at Paul Graupe, Berlin 1925, no. 55 (with illustration).

Max Liebermann attended the Weimar Akademie between 1868 and 1872. A trip to Düsseldorf in 1871 took the young artist to Mihály Munkácsy, a Hungarian painter who lived here. Liebermann was inspired by Munkácsy's Realism. Still under this impression, Liebermann painted his first large painting, 'Die Gänserupferinnen' (Girls plucking Geese). The unadulterated realism of this work, which was much rejected among the critics, was to become typical of Liebermann's art. He spent the years 1873 to 1878 in Paris and the artist colony of Barbizon. Here he studied the art of Millet, whose paintings of simple farm workers had a strong influence on him. A first sojourn in Holland in 1871 was followed by regular trips to the Netherlands, where he discovered suitable motifs for his most important works. His striving to elevate the life and work of the simple man to the realms of art in an unpretentious simplicity was not generally accepted. Liebermann continually fought for acceptance. Only after turning towards motifs and scenes of bourgeois life did he become the celebrated and sought after painter of the liberal bourgeoisie of the turn of the century. He spent the years 1878 to 1884 in Munich and then returned to his native town Berlin in 1884. Liebermann was an important personality not only as an artist but also as an art politician. At the beginning of 1892 he was a member of the 'Erste Sezession Deutschland', an organisation which he chaired in Berlin from 1898 to 1911. His home town honoured Liebermann by appointing him professor at the Königliche Akademie der Künste. Later, from 1920 to 1932, he was the president of the Preußische Akademie der Künste.
As he grew older, Liebermann found many of his motifs in the immediate environs of his home in Tiergarten. The loving couple in the Grunewald by dim light seems almost to vanish between the powerful fir trunks. Liebermann has captured the rather gloomy atmosphere of this wood in western Berlin with a mastery of atmosphere. In the 1880s he had discovered how to use light reflections between trees in rendering motifs from Laren in the Netherlands and scenes from Tiergarten and would return to this handling again and again. The nocturnal version, as in our picture, which is listed in the complete catalogue of works as a “missing” painting, is quite rare. Liebermann was probably fascinated by the peculiar mood suffusing the still darkness of the wood and the couple strolling in it. Only a few reflections of light illuminate this unusual composition, creating a mood so subtle that viewers only gradually grasp the impact it makes on them.

Liebermann retreated from the political world in the last years of his life. He became severely ill in 1934 and died three months later in isolation in his Berlin apartment. [KD].

In good condition.

EUR: 50.000 - 70.000 REGEL(7%)
US$: 68.200 - 95.480




239
Max Liebermann
Liebespaar auf einem Spaziergang im Grunewald, 1920.
Oil
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 58,000
Sold:
€ 61,000 / $ 70.760

(incl. 22% surcharge)