Sale: 539 / Modern Art Day Sale, June 10. 2023 in Munich Lot 329


Erich Heckel
Schleuse, 1913.
Oil on canvas
€ 100,000 - 150,000

$ 110,000 - 165,000

Schleuse. 1913.
Oil on canvas.
Hüneke 1913-34. Vogt 1913-56. Lower right signed and dated. Once more signed and dated on the reverse. 70 x 80 cm (27.5 x 31.4 in).

• Made during a stay at the country house of the collector and patron Gustav Schiefler in the Hamburg environs in the summer of 1913.
• The Mellingburg Lock would become a key motif for Heckel during the stay – 4 of the 6 paintings are considered lost, destroyed or of unknown whereabouts.
• The artist gave a portrait format version of the motif as a gift to Gustav and Luise Schiefler, today the work is at the Brücke Museum in Berlin (Hüneke 1913-31).
• The present landscape format composition may well be considered the most dense and intimate one of the river landscapes, which marked the beginning of a period characterized by a new crystalline style influenced by Cubism.
• In 1913 Heckel had his first solo show at Galerie Fritz Gurlitt, Berlin.
• Significant provenance: from the possession of Ottilie Schiefler, Gustav Schiefler's daughter

PROVENANCE: Ottilie Schiefler (1899–1992), Hamburg.
Edgar Horstmann (1902–1994), Hamburg.
Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Würzburg (acquired in 1975, with the collector's stamp Lugt 6032).

EXHIBITION: Erich Heckel. Gemälde, Graphik, Kestner-Gesellschaft, Hanover, January 15 - February 25, 1919, no. 22.
Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig (permanent loan from the Collection Hermann Gerlinger, 1995-2001).
Kunstmuseum Moritzburg, Halle an der Saale (permanent loan from the Collection Hermann Gerlinger, 2001-2017).
Im Rhythmus der Natur: Landschaftsmalerei der "Brücke". Meisterwerke der Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Städtische Galerie, Ravensburg, October 28, 2006 - January 28, 2007, p. 107 (with illu.).
Expressiv! Die Künstler der Brücke. Die Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Albertina Vienna, June 1 - August 26, 2007, cat. no. 100 (with illu.).
Hamburger Ansichten. Maler sehen die Stadt, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, October 9, 2009 - February 14, 2010, cat. no. 51 (with illu.)
Buchheim Museum, Bernried (permanent loan from the Collection Hermann Gerlinger, 2017-2022).
Brückenschlag: Gerlinger – Buchheim!, Buchheim Museum, Bernried, October 28, 2017 - February 25, 2018, pp. 266f. (with illu.).
Erich Heckel. Einfühlung und Ausdruck, Buchheim Museum, Bernried, October 31, 2020 - March 7, 2021, pp. 196f. (with illu.).

LITERATURE: Paul Vogt, Erich Heckel, Recklinghausen 1965, no. 1913-56 (with black-and-white illu.).
Cf. Hans Platte (ed.), Gustav Schiefler aus den Erinnerungen von Luise Schiefler, Hamburg 1965, color plate 6 and illu. pp. 34ff.
Karlheinz Gabler (ed.), Erich Heckel, Zeichnungen, Aquarelle, Dokumente, ex. cat. Städtische Galerie Karlsruhe et al, Stuttgart 1983, p. 119 (preliminary study).
Heinz Spielmann (ed.), Die Maler der Brücke. Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Stuttgart 1995, pp. 290f., SHG no. 428 (with illu.).
Hermann Gerlinger, Katja Schneider (eds.), Die Maler der Brücke. Inventory catalog Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Halle (Saale) 2005, pp. 198f., SHG no. 445 (with illu.).
Indina Woesthoff, ".. die Schwere unseres Weges kann wohl Freunde gebrauchen". Erich Heckel und Gustav Schiefler, in: Hermann Gerlinger, Katja Schneider (editors), Gemeinsames Ziel und eigene Wege. Die "Brücke" und ihr Nachwirken, Munich 2009, p. 60-69, here p. 65 (with illu.).
Andreas Hüneke, Erich Heckel, Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Wandbilder und Skulpturen, vol. I 1904-1918, Munich 2017, no. 1913-34 (with illu.).
"What he was most occupied with was the landscape around the Mellingburg Lock."
Gustav Schiefler, quoted from: G. Schack (editor), Gustav Schiefler – Meine Grafiksammlung, 1974, p. 59.

Called up: June 10, 2023 - ca. 14.08 h +/- 20 min.

Gustav Schiefler in Mellingstedt
In 1912 the "Brücke" patron and art lover Gustav Schiefler, director of the Hamburg District Court, acquired a country house in Mellingstedt near Hamburg. At first the family used it as a summer home, later the Schieflers lived there all year-round. The place is located on the river Alster in a local recreation area popular to this day. But even back then it attracted so many water sports enthusiasts that a special ramp to pull rowing and paddling boats over the Alster lock was built in 1910. (
In the following year Gustav Schiefler invited Erich Heckel and his wife Siddi to visit them in their new summer home. In his book "Meine Grafiksammlung" he provides detailled account of Heckel's stay in Mellingstedt: Heckel had his meals together with the Schieflers at their place while he stayedd at a small nearby inn. During the day he was engaged in drawing and painting the surrounding landscape "with great diligence", as Schiefler reports. The Mellingburger lock wasn’t far from the house. Gustav Schiefler reports: "But it was the landscape at the Mellingburger lock that he was mainly occupied with, whether in quiet solitude in the early morning or with the hustle and bustle of boats and bathers."
The important year 1913
The artist group "Brücke" broke up in In May 1913 because of a series of quarrels and general discrepancy. After this extremely eventful time, Erich Heckel found a little s peace in Schiefler's summer retreat. The artistic situation was new, and it wasn’t clear at that point how which direction things would take for Erich Heckel in the future. The transition from a member of a group to finding a new position as an individual artist was ultimately just as significant as the founding of the "Brücke", which provided fertile ground for the artistic development of its members for several years. Just like his fellow artists, Erich Heckel was in an entirely new situation. There was no profound dispute between the artists, but they had simply noticed that they all wanted to pursue different paths.

This situation perhaps explains why Heckel was so captivated by the image of the lock he happened to find near his host's house that he painted it several times. It offered him an opportunit to repeatedly apply - certainly unconsciously - working methods established over the previous years. A total of four paintings with this motif are known: "Mellingburger Alsterschleuse" (oil/canvas, Hüneke 1913-31), which today is at the Brücke Museum in Berlin, shows a downstream view. Gustav Schiefler acquired this work and gave it on loan to the Kunsthalle Hamburg from 1918-1927. Another painting of the lock is the today lost painting "Badende an der Alster" (Hüneke 1912-32). Siddi Heckel mentions in a letter that it was sent to the collector Carl Hageman in Leverkusen for viewing in 1915. He had ordered, among others, mentioned painting and "Schleuse" (Hüneke 1913-33, whereabouts unknown). These two works, like our painting from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, show the lock with an upstream view. On the right we see the pier built in 1910. In abovementioned paintings, Erich Heckel chose different perspectives, making it seem as if he was searching for the right angle.
One can also interpret the motifs with regards to the group’s common artistic accomplishments. Especially the view through the trees is strongly reminiscent of the compositional patterns of the "Brücke", as we know them from works made at the Moritzburg Ponds. However, with the expansive view of the lock in the present painting Heckel attained a liberated, open solution. The calm water, the moving trees and the cloudy sky add a certain vastness to the situation. It seems like the result of a gradual liberation from habitual creative patterns. Heckel characterized the various areas with great lightness. The thin application of paint in the foreground of the picture allows the water to play with light and reflections, while the accentuated brushstrokes in the area of the trees add great dynamic and the sky bears the typical crystalline structures of this creative period.

The painting also has a particular significance through its first owner, Ottilie Schiefler (1899-1992), the youngest daughter of Gustav Schiefler. Two of the lock paintings remained in the possession of the Schiefler family. In his views of the lock not far from the family home, Erich Heckel must have succeeded in capturing the spirit of the place. [EH]


Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Erich Heckel "Schleuse"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 800,000 €: herefrom 27 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 800,000 € is subject to a premium of 21% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 800,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 4,000,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 4,000,000 €.
The statutory VAT of currently 19 % is levied to the sum of hammer price and premium. As an exception, the reduced VAT of 7 % is added for printed books.

We kindly ask you to notify us before invoicing if you wish to be subject to regular taxation.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.