Vesperzeit. 1917. Oil on canvas. Balogh 299. Signed in lower right. 50 x 40.7 cm (19.6 x 16 in).
PROVENANCE: Adrian Brugger, Munich (verso of stretcher with a faded stamp of an art supplies store). Wimmer & Co K.B. court art trader, Munich (verso of stretcher with a gallery stamp). Collection Megerle, Friedberg (presumably "Franz Megerle Lackfabriken und Rivalinwerke"). Hugo Helbing, Munich, auction on September 17, 1930, lot 39 with illu. on plate 6 (consigned from collection of aforementioned, unsold and returned to consignor. Dated "1917" in cat.). Private collection Berlin.
LITERATURE: Johannes Wolfgang Bekh, Die Münchner Maler. Von Jan Pollak bis Franz Marc, Pfaffenhofen/Ilm 1978, illu. between pp. 196-197.
The work offered here is part of a series for which Grützner depicted monks before or after their meals (cfl. Balogh 235-331). The joy the monks feel about their hearty meals, for which they are, of course, grateful to god, is clearly reflected by their facial expressions. Our monk also has his hands folded in prayer while he contentedly looks at the meal that consists of a piece of cooked meat, a loaf of bread, salt and radish. A tankard of spicy beer and a dab of snuff waiting in a little wooden box in right on the table will make the meal complete. Grützner once more delivers proof of his mastery in characterizing certain groups of people with a subtle sense of humor without ever running danger of caricaturing them. [FS]