Sale: 415 / Modern Art, June 06. 2014 in Munich Lot 322

 
322
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Sennkopf (Martin Schmied), 1917.
Woodcut
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 57,000
Sold:
€ 73,200 / $ 83.448

(incl. 22% surcharge)
Lot description
Sennkopf (Martin Schmied). 1917.
Woodcut.
Dube H 308 I (of II). Signed. Presumably one of 50 copies. On firm Blotting paper. 50 x 39,4 cm (19,6 x 15,5 in). Sheet: 57 x 44,4 cm (22,4 x 17,5 in).
The number of 50 copies was supplied by Gustav Schiefler and surely has not been fulfilled, so far only ca. 20 - 25 copies are known of. [CB].
This work has only been offered twice on the international art market since the 1990s. (Source: artprice.com).
We are grateful to Prof. Dr. Günther Gercken for his kind expert advice.

PROVENANCE: Private collection Baden-Württemberg.

Kirchner studied architecture in Dresden where he met and worked with Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. After finishing his studies, however, he opposed his father's wishes and decided to become a painter. The intense artistic and intellectual relationship between the four artists soon led to the formation of the artist group 'Die Brücke', which, according to Schmidt-Rottluff, wanted to "attract all revolutionary and restless forces". The artists began to work on the ‚Viertelstundenakte', drawings on nude models in the studio or in open nature. At first the group oriented itself to artists from Late Impressionism. The discovery of the Fauves, South Seas' art and van Gogh led the painters to Expressionism. Due to the encounter with Italian Futurist works, the group's painting style changed and became ‚tougher'. Kirchner studied the sculptures at the Völkerkundemuseum in Dresden, which influenced his own wood sculptures. In 1911 Kirchner moved to Berlin. Here Kirchner discovered new motifs - city and street scenes. He painted them in a simplified manner, with sharply contoured forms, expressive features and clashing colors. The city paintings became incunables of Expressionism and made Kirchner one of the most important German artists of the 20th century. The beginning of world war I and the following years were a turning point in his life. The war experiences and military service caused an existential angst and led to illness and long stays in sanatoriums.

In the summer of 1917 Kirchner spent several month in his mountain hut on Staffelalp near Davos. He made 13 woodcuts, which count among the highlights of his oeuvre. Free from the pressure of the war atrocities and integrated into a large family on the farmstead "In den Lärchen", his mental state improved in the Swiss mountains. The place and its people gave Kirchner peace and strength, and this is just what this portrait of Martin Schmid, a kind of father figure for the artist, delivers proof of, as it is embedded in this both idyllic and healing world. For the lack of a printing press, Kirchner executed the impression from the printing block by hand with folder and muller, which is why every sheet has the character of a trial proof for the slightly varying color application, a feature that a professionally executed print could never have.

In 1918 Kirchner settled in Frauenkirch near Davos. The city scenes were now replaced by mountain landscapes and scenes of rural life. Around 1920 his painting style calmed down, his paintings had a carpet-like two dimensionality. Beside Kirchner also produced an extensive graphic work - wood cuts, lithographs and ink drawings. In 1923 Kirchner moved to the 'Haus auf dem Wildboden' at the entrance of the Sertig Valley where he lived and worked until he committed suicide in 1938.

322
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Sennkopf (Martin Schmied), 1917.
Woodcut
Estimate:
€ 50,000 / $ 57,000
Sold:
€ 73,200 / $ 83.448

(incl. 22% surcharge)