Blumen im Bronzekübel. 1923. Oil on panel, cradled. Berend-Corinth 901 (there erroneously mentioned as "Öl auf Leinwand"). Signed and dated in upper right. 61.5 x 49 cm (24.2 x 19.2 in). Japanese bronze bucket with pink cloves, wallflower and light lilac twigs. Painted in the studio on Klopstockstraße, Berlin. [JS]. •Wonderful late flower still life, a great document of Corinth's mature and boisterous style. •From the ownership of Heinrich Thannhauser, an important gallerist of Modernism. •Consistent provenance since 1925. • Today many of his lush flower arrangements from the 1920s are in acclaimed public collections like the Austrian Galerie Belvedere in Vienna (Berend-Corinth 854), the Nationalgalerie Berlin (Berend-Corinth 939) or the Neue Pinakothek in Munich (Berend-Corinth 932c)..
PROVENANCE: Collection Ludwig Schwarz (until 1925). Moderne Galerie Thannhauser, Munich/Berlin. Collection Oskar Federer, Ostrava/Prague (presumably acquired from Thannhasuer in the late 1920s or the early 1930s). Confiscated by the Nazis in 1939. Galerie Vytvarného Umenì, Ostrava (November 1943; verso with the label). Municipal Museum, Ostrava (verso with the label; since 1943). Restituted to the heirs of Oskar Federer (2007/2009). Private collection Germany (since 2009).
EXHIBITION: Galerie Wiltschek, Berlin 1925, cat. no. 11, with illu. (under the title 'Blumenstück'). Moderne Galerie Thannhauser Berlin/Lucerne/Munich, opening exhibition of the new Berlin representative, June 1927, cat. 28 (with illu.). Avantgarde, Reiselust und Sinnesfreude, Corinth, Liebermann, Slevogt, Kunsthaus Apolda, September 11 - December 18, 2011, cat. no.10, with illu. on p. 69.
LITERATURE: Paul Graupe, Sammlung Ludwig Schwarz und Beiträge aus anderem Besitz, October 19, 1925, lot 9 with illu. Der Kunstwanderer: Zeitschrift für alte und neue Kunst, für Kunstmarkt und Sammelwesen - July/August 1925/\u8203 26, p. 72. "Corinth, the power person, who at times handled the brush with quite some brutality, who drank the glowing colors like fresh blood [..] painted flower pieces characterized by infinite tenderness." Karl Schwarz, author of the catalog raisonné graphic works, quote from: Lovis Corinth. Eine Dokumentation, Tübingen 1979, p. 240.
"There doesn’t seem to be a single flower you haven’t painted yet", wrote Charlotte Berend-Corinth on April 25, 1926 in her memoires "Mein Leben mit Lovis Corinth", which the artist’s widow began with on August 30,1925, six weeks after her husband’s death. Chrysanthemum, calla, amaryllis, roses, gladioli, lilies, orchids, tulips, vetches, larkspur, willow catkins, oak leaves, carnations and lilac over and over: His flower pictures doubtlessly count among Corinth’s "great paintings". In addition to landscapes, figure pictures with mythological backgrounds, landscapes of Walchensee, interiors with portraits of family members and celebrities, as well as self portraits in a variety of different situations, Corinth painted lush and boisterous flower arrangements as if he cleaned his palette and liberated himself from all restraints through a pure and wild painting process. He was fascinated by the abundance the botanical world has to offer, enthused about nature’s blossoming and perishing lushness over the course of the seasons. This flower piece from 1923 offered here, made during the expressive Walchensee time and executed on panel, almost bursts the chosen format; parallel lines of coarse brushstrokes homogenize the spaces between the colors fields of rose carnations, light red wallflowers, yellow chrysanthemum and twigs of light lilac in a Japanese bronze pail on a table covered with a white and blue cloth. It’s a domestic situation with common objects from the life of the artist and his wife Charlotte Berend in the Berlin studio on Klopstockstraße. The eye catches many white-heightened spots strewn across the motif like lights. The thickly applied colors accentuate and organize the arrangement of the flowers in front of a wall kept in a dark hue of rose, a background that almost spreads across the scene’s entire format. After he had suffered a stroke in 1911 Corinth had to adapt his painting manner in order to compensate movement disorders. Nature and painting seem to have found expression in the bold and swift brushwork and have led to a dematerialization and spiritualization of the object, a high aim that Corinth comes incredibly close to with this flower picture. Associations to Flemish still life painting can be found, however, this work lacks hints at perishability, except for the withering, which appears to be given. Corinth intentionally negates the deeper sense of traditional still life painting, he dissolves the flowers’ natural and inevitable delicateness with great pleasure and in bursting colors in order to take it to a sensuous lushness full of joie de vivre .The composition’s dynamics, as well as the arrangement and characterization of the flowers also fascinated Heinrich Thannhauser, founder of the Moderne Galerie in Munich, the place where the first exhibition of artist’s from the circle of the "Blauer Reiter" took place in November 1911. In 1918 Corinth made a portrait of the art dealer who was initially active in Munich and later in Berlin. He was the first owner of the flower picture shortly after it was made, later he sold it to the collector Oskar Federer in Prague. [MvL]