Sale: 525 / Evening Sale, Dec. 10. 2021 in Munich Lot 212


Max Beckmann
Stillleben mit roten Rosen, 1914.
Oil on canvas
€ 200,000 / $ 210,000
€ 350,000 / $ 367,500

(incl. surcharge)
Stillleben mit roten Rosen. 1914.
Oil on canvas.
Göpel 184. Bottom right signed and dated. 93 x 72.5 cm (36.6 x 28.5 in).

• Absolute rarity with an excellent provenance.
• One of the lats paintings bewore World War I in impressionist peinture.
• Beckmann's last pure flower stil llife.
• Remarkable style: Beckmann is closely connected to the pathos of Lovis Corinth and Max Liebermann.
• In possession of many well-known art lovers

The painting is registered under in the latest online catalog raisonné published by the Kaldewei Kulturstiftung under the editorial responsibility of Dr. Anja Tiedemann .

PROVENANCE: Collection Henry B. Simms, Hamburg (until 1922).
Gertrud Simms, Hamburg (inherited from the above in 1922, until 1930: Kunstsalon Paul Cassirer, November 14, 1930).
Collection Ricardo Hirsch, Buenos Aires (acquired from the above in 1930).
Alfons Heilbronner and Arthur Goldschmidt, Buenos Aires/Zürich (presumably acquired from the above ).
Dr. Walter Feilchenfeldt, Zürich (acquired from the above in 1958).
Lissy Mander, Munich (presumably acquired from the above).
Galerie Hans Fetscherin, Munich (1958).
Collection Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt (1959 until 1975)
Private collection Schweinfurt (inherited from teh above in 1975, until 1982).
Art trader W. Schuller, Wertheim (1982).
Private collection Hesse.
Private collection North Rhine-Westphalia (since 2011).

EXHIBITION: Ausstellung einer Gemäldesammlung aus Hamburger Privatbesitz, Kunsthalle Hamburg May/June 1918.
Max Beckmann. Das gesammelte Werk. Gemälde, Graphik, Handzeichnungen aus den Jahren 1905 bis 1927, Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, February 19 - April 10, 1928.
Max Beckmann, Schloss, Brunswick, January 13 - February 24, 1929.
Max Beckmann. Die frühen Bilder, Kunsthalle, Bielefeld / Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main, September 26 - November 21, 1982.
Picasso, Beckmann, Nolde und die Moderne. Meisterwerke aus frühen Privatsammlungen in Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, March 23 - June 17, 2001.
Meisterwerke im Dortmunder U. Caspar David Friedrich bis Max Beckmann, Dortmunder U, May 14 - August 9, 2015.
Accrochage, Galerie Utermann, Dortmund, November 2 - November 30, 2019.

LITERATURE: Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Ausstellung einer Gemäldesammlung aus Hamburger Privatbesitz. Zum Besten der Unterstützungskasse des Kameradschaftsbundes der 76er zu Hamburg, Hamburg 1918.
Städtische Kunsthalle, Mannheim, Max Beckmann. Das gesammelte Werk. Gemälde, Graphik, Handzeichnungen aus den Jahren 1905 bis 1927, Mannheim 1928.
Kunstsalon Paul Cassirer, Berlin, Meister des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts. Aus der Sammlung Simms, Hamburg. Aus Berliner und Breslauer Privatbesitz, Berlin 1930 (with illu.).
Christie's, London, Fifteen German Expressionist Paintings from the Georg Schäfer Collection, London 1978, (with illu.).
Klaus Gallwitz, Ulrich Weisner (editor), Max Beckmann. Die frühen Bilder, Bielefeld 1982 (with illu.).
Klaus Gallwitz, Uwe M. Schneede, Stephan von Wiese (editor), Max Beckmann Briefe. 1899-1925, vol. I, Munich / Zürich 1993.
Klaus Gallwitz, Uwe M. Schneede, Stephan von Wiese (editor), Max Beckmann Briefe. 1899-1925, vol. II, Munich / Zürich 1994.
Ulrich Luckhardt, Uwe M. Schneede (editor), Private Schätze. Über das Sammeln von Kunst in Hamburg bis 1933, Hamburg 2001.
Karin Schick, Frühe Stillleben, in: Hubertus Gaßner, Karin Schick (editor), Max Beckmann. Die Stillleben, Munich 2014, pp. 79-81.
Gerhard Langemeyer (editor), Meisterwerke im Dortmunder U. Caspar David Friedrich bis Max Beckmann, Dortmund 2015 (with illu. on pp. 147-151).
Siegfried Gohr, Max Beckmann - Motive. Einladung zur Werkbetrachtung, Cologne 2019.

Max Beckmann's first biographer, Hans Kaiser, admired "the cool gesture and the full pathos [..] passion and heroic romanticism" in his painting (Hans Kaiser, Max Beckmann, 1913, p.45). Kaiser wrote this assessment against the background of the exhibitions in 1913 in Berlin, which were of far reachung importance for the artist: his participation in the Berlin Secession and the first solo exhibition at Paul Cassirer's art salon. Kaiser’s Beckmann monograph also was the first volume in the series “Künstler unserer Zeit” which was edited by the publisher Paul Cassirer. The Berlin art scene was divided into two groups: On the one hand, the established Berlin Secession around Max Liebermann, Max Slevogt, Lovis Corinth, Hans Baluschek, Ernst Barlach, Theo von Brockhusen, Georg Kolbe, etc. A group where Max Beckmann also saw his artistic and social home. On the other hand, the Secession‘s former refused members, the declared opponents of the Secession, who paved the way for the Expressionists in 1910 with the Galerie Macht and in 1913 with the “Ersten Deutschen Herbstsalon” (First German Autumn Salon), an exhibition providing an overview of modern art organized by Franz Marc and Wassilly Kandinsky at Herwarth Walden‘s Berlin gallery "Der Sturm": Expressionists, Cubists and Futurists. Beckmann, on the other hand, still felt connected with the pathos of Lovis Corinth and Max Liebermann, and Impressionism was the language for a social context that Beckmann did not want to escape from yet. And the Berlin Secession, which opened up to international art, for example from France, stil was one of the most impressive art events in Berlin. Beckmann, who came to Berlin in 1905, was invited to exhibit in 1906; in 1907 he was a full member, his works were acquired by collectors, he was discovered by art critics, and received attention from cultural personalities such as Count Harry Kessler. Beckmann painted “Still Life with Roses” at the peak of summer rose‘s bloom in 1914. What the artist did not know at the time, but could perhaps guess: the flower picture would be one of the last paintings made before the outbreak of the First World War, and which are characterized by an impressionist manner that Beckmann had realized it in just a few paintings before: historical scenes, group portraits and landscapes were his preferred genres that Beckmann also used for a utopian painting with an art-historical reference point. “In my opinion there are two tendencies in art. One, which currently is in the foreground, is the flat and stylizing decorative art, the other is the deeper spatial art,” stated Beckmann in 1914 in “Das neue Programm“. (Max Beckmann, Die Realität der Träume in den Bildern. Aufsätze und Vorträge 1903–1950, Leipzig 1987, S.43) His discussion about modernity with the expressionist Franz Marc in the magazine ‘Pan‘ from 1912 is just as evident as Beckmann's categorical rejection of Henry Matisse‘s art, when he criticized his pictures exhibited at Cassirer in January 1909. In the 26th exhibition of the Berlin Secession he confronted his painting “Untergang der Titanic“ (Sinking of the Titanic) from 1912 with Matisse‘s “La danse/The Dance I” from 1909, which had casued quite a stir.
However, with the “Stilleben mit Rosen”, Beckmann uses an exuberant, painterly, “deep spatial” gesture reminiscent of Lovis Corinth, perhaps the then most important still life painter. Beckmann bundles dark red roses in three vases of different shapes and sizes, lightening them with a few white flowers, capturing the wild growth of the roses with green accessories and arranging the splendor in front of a classically dark background. Wilted blossoms have fallen onto the table, between the vases we find two sheets of written paper, strikingly decorated. We cannot read their content, yet a wide field of speculations opens up immediately: Red roses, as a way to say goodbye to his wife Minna Tube, before Beckmann, who had voluntarily registered for military service, would go to war? Twice, it had been quite some time since the spring of 1906 and the summer of 1907, that Beckmann dedicated still lifes with flowers to his wife: white "Hyazinthen“ (Hyacinths) in a cachepot, with a half-full glass of champagne, the drink Beckmann loved so much, next to it in front of a white background and the "Sumpfblumen" (Meadow Foam), an orderly arrangement of wild flowers on a wooden table in two different vessels in front of bright red wallpaper with a striking pattern. The painted visualization of the emotions he has for his wife, the painter and opera singer Minna Tube, was lavishly renewed seven years later. The unspoken, it seems, is what Beckmann the romantic, wrote down on notepaper; a depth of transience opens up and resonates. After 1907 Beckmann painted only one other still life of this kind: “Stilleben mit Herbstblumen“ (Still Life with Autumn Flowers) from 1912. And if we follow the online catalog raisonné, Beckmann does not seem to be too enthusiastic about this traditional genre either, however, this would change during 'Frankfurt years' from 1915 onwards. Accordingly, “Stilleben mit Rosen” plays an important role in Beckmann's diverse oeuvre from before World War One, particularly for its outstanding painterly depth! Max Beckmann would not paint a pure flower still life like “Stilleben mit Rosen” again.
Two years later the artist mentions the “Stillleben mit Rosen” in a letter to his wife Minna, presumably in October 1916 from Frankfurt. Beckmann had the still life and the recently created painting “Blick auf den Bahnhof Gesundbrunen“ (G 183) sent to the Hamburg businessman and collector Henry B. Simms. Simms, who had acquired large groups of works, among others from Lovis Corinth, and also owned a large number of Beckmann's works, initially refused to buy them. “But I want to order a still life for 1000M!” Beckmann continues to his wife (Max Beckmann, Briefe 1899–1925, Munich 1993, letter no.: 143, p. 147). Nevertheless, the “Stilleben mit Rosen” became part of the important collection. In May 1918 the collection was shown in “Ausstellung einer Gemäldesammlung aus Hamburger Privatbesitz“ at the Kunsthalle Hamburg, which featured another 11 paintings by Max Beckmann. As early as in 1913 Beckmann painted the Simms couple with their four teenage children in the drawing room of the villa on Heilwigstrasse. [MvL]

Max Beckmann
Stillleben mit roten Rosen, 1914.
Oil on canvas
€ 200,000 / $ 210,000
€ 350,000 / $ 367,500

(incl. surcharge)