Sale: 535 / Evening Sale with Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Dec. 09. 2022 in Munich Lot 45


Ernst Ludwig Kirchner
Fehmarnküste mit Leuchtturm, 1913.
Oil on canvas
€ 700,000 - 900,000

$ 700,000 - 900,000

Fehmarnküste mit Leuchtturm. 1913.
Oil on canvas.
Gordon 325. Lower right signed. 90.5 x 120.5 cm (35.6 x 47.4 in).

• In the summers of 1912 to 1914, Kirchner created, as he put it, works "of an absolute maturity".
• Other Fehmarn pictures by Kirchner are in possession of, among others, the Nationalgalerie der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, the Folkwang Museum in Essen, the Städel Museum in Frankfurt am Main, the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Kunsthalle Bremen, the Osthaus Museum in Hagen, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh and the Detroit Institute of Arts.
• Expressive Fehmarn landscape in a capital format.
• From the most significant creative period of the Berlin years.
• Shown in an exhibition at the Kunsthalle Hamburg during Kirchner's lifetime.
• Back then part of the renowned collection of Martha and Dr. Paul Rauert, Hamburg.
• As of 1946 in the important Max Lütze Collection, which was on permanent loan at the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart from 1972

This work is registered in the Ernst Ludwig Kirchner Archive, Wichtrach/Bern.

PROVENANCE: Collection Martha and Dr. Paul Rauert, Hamburg (since at least 1924).
Collection Max Lütze, Hamburg/Frankfurt am Main/Bad Homburg (acquired in 1946 - 1968).
Collection Diethelm Lütze, Stuttgart (inherited from the above in 1968, until at least 1975).
Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Würzburg (with the collector's stamp Lugt 6032).

EXHIBITION: Nyare Tysk Konst, Liljevalchs Konsthall, Stockholm 1922.
Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg (permanent loan from the Collection Martha and Dr. Paul Rauert, as of 1924).
Leihausstellung aus Hamburgischem Privatbesitz (organized by Freunde der Kunsthalle and the Kunstverein in Hamburg), Kunsthalle Hamburg, May 1925, 163 (titled "Fehmarn").
Moderne Malerei. Frankfurter Privatbesitz, Frankfurter Kunstverein, Frankfurt am Main, March 16 - April 28, 1963, cat. no. 46 (with illu.).
Sammlung Lütze: Deutsche Kunst des 20. Jahrhunderts, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, June 10 - July 30, 1972, p. 19 (titled "Fehmarn").
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart (permanent loan from the Max Lütze Estate, 1972-1975, with the inventory label on the reverse).
Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig (permanent loan from the Collection Hermann Gerlinger, 1995-2001).
Nolde, Schmidt-Rottluff und ihre Freunde. Die Sammlung Martha und Paul Rauert, Hamburg 1905-1958, Ernst Barlach Haus, Hermann F. Reemtsma Foundation, Hamburg, May 2 - August 1, 1999, Museum für neue Kunst, Freiburg i. Br., Kirchner Museum, Davos, Brücke-Museum, Berlin, et al, 1999-2003, pp. 45, 75 (each with illu.) and cat. no. 45.
Kunstmuseum Moritzburg, Halle an der Saale (permanent loan from the Collection Hermann Gerlinger, 2001-2017).
Picasso, Beckmann, Nolde und die Moderne. Meisterwerke aus frühen Privatsammlungen in Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, March 23 - June 17, 2001, cat. no. 72 (with illu. on p. 179).
Nur für ihre Frauen: Schmuck von Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Emil Nolde, Erich Heckel und Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Foundation Moritzburg, Kunstmuseum des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt, Halle (Saale), October 26, 2003 - January 11, 2004.
Die Brücke und die Moderne 1904-1914, Bucerius Kunst Forum, Hamburg, October 17, 2004 - January 23, 2005, cat. no. 149 (with illu. on p. 175).
Im Rhythmus der Natur: Landschaftsmalerei der "Brücke". Meisterwerke der Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Städtische Galerie, Ravensburg, October 28, 2006 - January 28, 2007, p. 57 (with illu. on p. 108).
Expressiv! Die Künstler der Brücke. Die Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Albertina Vienna, June 1 - August 26, 2007, cat. no. 164 (with color illu. on p. 253).
Buchheim Museum, Bernried (permanent loan from the Collection Hermann Gerlinger, 2017-2022).
Großstadtrausch/Naturidyll. Kirchner - Die Berliner Jahre, Kunsthaus Zürich, February 10 - May 21, 2017, cat. no. 37 (with illu. on p. 151).
Brückenschlag: Gerlinger – Buchheim!, Buchheim Museum, Bernried, October 28, 2017 - February 25, 2018, pp. 272f. (with color illu.).

LITERATURE: Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, photo album I, no. 337.
Letter from Gustav Schiefler to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, November 26, 1924, no. 259, published in: Wolfgang Henze (ed.), Briefwechsel 1910-1935/1938, Stuttgart 1990, pp. 314f. (and annotation 1).
Letter from Gustav Pauli to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, December 1, 1924, published in: Günther Gercken, Ankauf eines Grafikkonvoluts und des Gemäldes Bauernmittag im Briefwechsel zwischen Gustav Pauli und E. L. Kirchner, in: Im Blickfeld. Die Jahre 2001/2002 in der Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg 2002, pp. 31ff.
Donald E. Gordon Estate, University of Pittsburgh, Gordon Papers, Series I., Subseries 1, Box 2, Folder 100.
Donald E. Gordon, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Mit einem kritischen Katalog sämtlicher Gemälde, Munich/Cambridge (Mass.) 1968, pp. 93 and 320, cat. no. 325 (with illu.).
Heinrich Wiegand Petzert, Deutsche Expressionisten: Die Sammlung Lütze in Stuttgart, in: Weltkunst, year XLII, no. 17, September 1, 1972, p. 1179.
Diethelm Lütze (ed.), Max Lütze 1889-1968, Stuttgart 1989, p. 28.
Heinz Spielmann (ed.), Die Maler der Brücke. Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Stuttgart 1995, p. 61 (with illu. on p. 62) and on p. 259, SHG no. 371 (with illu.).
Heinz Spielmann, Landschaft und Natur werden zu Bildern. Die Maler des Expressionismus in Schleswig-Holstein, in: Vernissage - die Zeitschrift zur Ausstellung, no. 4, 1995, p. 10 (with illu.).
Paul Gerhard, Uwe Danker and Peter Wulf (eds.), Geschichtsumschlungen. Sozial- und kulturgeschichtliches Lesebuch. Schleswig-Holstein 1848-1948, Bonn 1996.
Hein Spielmann (ed.), Jahrbuch des Schleswig-Holsteinischen Landesmuseums Schloss Gottorf. Neue Folge, vol. V 1994-1995, 1996, p. 145 (cover picture and with illu.).
Mario-Andreas von Lüttichau, Two Nude Figures in a Landscape. A New Attribution, in: North Carolina Museum of Art Bulletin, XVII, 1997, p. 26.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner auf Fehmarn, Brücke-Almanach, Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig 1997, cat. no. 23 (with illu. on p. 83).
Mario-Andreas von Lüttichau, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner und Otto Mueller. Zwei Akte in der Landschaft, in: Roland Scotti (ed.), Magazin III. Forschungen. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner – neue Fragestellungen, Tagung zu Ehren des 90. Geburtstages von Roman Norbert Ketterer, 2001, p. 36.
Günther Gercken, Ankauf eines Grafikkonvoluts und des Gemäldes Bauernmittag im Briefwechsel zwischen Gustav Pauli und E. L. Kirchner, in: Im Blickfeld. Die Jahre 2001/2002 in der Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg 2002, p. 40.
Magdalena M. Moeller, Künstlegemeinschaft Brücke, Munich/Berlin/London/New York 2005, pp. 128f. (with illu. on plate 55).
Hermann Gerlinger, Katja Schneider (eds.), Die Maler der Brücke. Inventory catalog Collection Hermann Gerlinger, Halle (Saale) 2005, p. 333, SHG no. 751 (with illu.).
Katja Schneider (ed.), Moderne und Gegenwart. Das Kunstmuseum in Halle, Munich 2008, p. 136 (with illu.).
Andreas Gabelmann, 'Verzicht leisten vor der Natur'. Das Motiv der Landschaft im Werk der "Brücke, in: Hermann Gerlinger and Katja Schneider (eds.), Gemeinsames Ziel und eigene Wege. Die Brücke und ihr Nachwirken, Almanach der Brücke, vol. 1, Munich 2009, p. 57 (with illu., no. 8).
Hans Delfs (ed.), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner - Der gesamte Briefwechsel. 'Die absolute Wahrheit, so wie ich sie fühle', Zürich 2010, no. 1089, 1366, 1371, 1379.
Christian Ring, 'Kirchner ist gewiss eine der stärksten Begabungen des Expressionismus. Ein reiner und feiner Maler'. Gustav Pauli and Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, in: Ex. cat. Kirchner, Kunsthalle Hamburg, 2010/2011, p. 16 (with illu., no. 9).
Albrecht Pohlmann, 'Der Künstler schaffe bewusst!' Wilhelm Ostwalds Malerbriefe (1904) und andere Schriften als kunsttechnologisches Paradigma einer kommenden Kunst, in: Aufbruch in die Farbe. Ernst Ludwig Kirchner und das Neue Malen am Beginn des 20. Jahrhunderts (Beiträge des interdisziplinären Symposiums an der Staatlichen Akademie der Bildenden Künste Stuttgart), Stuttgart 2012, 27th year, issue 1, pp. 91-104 (with illu. on p. 98, no. 9).
Brückenschlag: Gerlinger – Buchheim! Museumsführer durch die "Brücke"-Sammlungen von Hermann Gerlinger und Lothar-Günther Buchheim, Bernried 2017, p. 272 (with illu. on p. 273).

"Tonight I am leaving for Fehmarn, to regain strength and to paint."
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner to Gustav Schiefler in early June of 1913, quoted from: Wolfgang Henze (ed.), Briefwechsel 1910-1935/1938, Stuttgart/Zürich 1990, letter no. 34, p. 62.

"Unfortunately, we'll have to return soon. You can't believe how hard that is for us. I can't say for sure whether the sea is more beautiful in summer or in fall. I paint as much as I can, so I 'll be able to carry home at least a few of the thousand things that I'd like to paint."
E. L. Kirchner in a letter to Hans Gewecke, September 24, 1913, letter no. 193, in: Skizzenbuch Nr. 35, Kirchner Museum Davos.

Called up: December 9, 2022 - ca. 18.28 h +/- 20 min.

Kirchner's Baltic Sea Paradise
Both E. L. Kirchner and the other artists of the "Brücke", among them Erich Heckel, Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and Hermann Max Pechstein, spent many summers on the Baltic Sea to get away from the noisy, hectic and anonymous metropolis Berlin. In their retreats they enjoyed a simple, quiet life and pursued their common quest for the greatest possible originality and for a unity of art and nature. In the early "Brücke" years, Kirchner, together with Erich Heckel, spent a lot of time at the Moritzburg Ponds near Dresden. In later years after the end of World War I, Kirchner and his partner finally moved to Davos, to the secluded mountains of the Swiss Alps. In the Berlin years between 1911 and 1917, during which the present work was created, it was the Baltic Sea in particular that would not only become Kirchner’s favorite retreat but also an almost inexhaustible source of inspiration.

In 1908 Kirchner traveled to the Baltic island of Fehmarn for the first time and instantly fell for its landscape and the simple life far from the big city. In the following creative years, he made the very pristine, rugged landscape the main motif of his works. A nature that wasn’t spoiled by tourism, the steep cliffs, the roaring sea, the informality of bathers in the sea, the beautiful sandy beach, the sometimes stormy winds, high waves and foaming spray, the vastness of the horizon, an uncommon vegetation with silver poplars, willows and dune grass with large boulders towering in between, all of that gave the painter strength and inspiration. "Tonight I'm going to Lübeck and from there to Fehmarn to regain some strength and to paint," Kirchner wrote to his confidant Gustav Schiefler, the Hamburg art collector and author of E. L. Kirchner's first catalog raisonné of graphic works, in 1913, the year our work was created, shortly before his departure to Fehmarn (early June 1913, quoted after: Wolfgang Henze (ed.), Briefwechsel 1910-1935/1938, Stuttgart/Zurich 1990, letter no. 34, p. 62).

The Summers on Fehmarn and Life on Staberhuk
In the summers of 1912, 1913 and again in the following year, E. L. Kirchner was accompanied by his partner Erna Schilling, whom he had met in Berlin in 1912. During these summer months they lived in the house of the lighthouse keeper Lüthmann on the "Staberhuk" in the southeast of the island. They were visited by Kirchner's "Brücke" colleague Otto Mueller and his wife Maschka, and later also by Hans Gewecke and Werner Gothein, students of his "MUIM" Institute, which Kirchner had founded together with Pechstein in 1911. They also spent a lot of time in togetherness, as the closest farm was about two kilometers away, while it was even ten kilometers to the nearest village. They enjoyed their time in the fresh air, bathing, swimming, walking and painting on the beach below the cliff – the same place where the work offered here was created. From a slightly elevated position, in finely tuned, yet so expressive colors – almost without blue tones - Kirchner makes the coast, the beach, the sea crowned with light spray, the strong green vegetation, the large characteristic boulderstones, the evening sky and the view of his summer home, the lighthouse of Staberhuk, the central motif of this painting. It is precisely the surroundings to which the artist attached great importance in these summer months, not only from a private perspective, but also from a professional one. He entered into a particularly prolific creative phase, in which works of central importance for both his œuvre and for German Expressionism were created. In an essay about his work at the time, Kirchner noted in retrospect: "From 1912 to 1914 I spent the summer months on Fehmarn with Erna. Here I learned to finalize unity of man and nature and completed what I had begun in Moritzburg. The colors became milder and richer, the forms stricter and more distant from the natural form." (E. L. Kirchner, in: Eberhard W. Kornfeld, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Nachzeichnung seines Lebens, ex. cat., Basel 1979, p. 337).

Fehmarn - An Important Artistic Development
Kirchner captured his immediate surroundings on Fehmarn with impressive creative powers, transferring the motifs into his very own expressionist pictorial language. The majority of the works were created directly on the island; only very few works were made subsequently in the Berlin studio. The playful lightness of the earlier works made at the Moritzburg Ponds during the Dresden "Brücke" years gave way to a more mature, harsh landscape drama in the Fehmarn pictures; the landscape painting becomes an expressive carrier of an inner feeling. Kirchner finds his way to a hatching brushstroke that evenly crosses the picture’s surface: "The application of paint in pictures from 1913 and 1914 is reminiscent of plumage, a sequence of fanned-out, dense brushstrokes that fill the entire surface." (Lucius Grisebach, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner 1880-1938, Cologne 1999, pp. 95 f.)
In these years before the First World War, the motifs of the "Brücke" artists, and E. L. Kirchner in particular, focused on two virtually contradictory themes: On the big city and its people after the turn of the century on the one hand, and on landscape and the unity of man and nature on the other. The artistic work thus follows a certain rhythm of city and country life, love of pleasure and longing for nature, nightclubs and beaches. While the famous "Street Scenes" are regarded the apex of Kirchner's figure pictures and perhaps even of his entire oeuvre, the stays on Fehmarn between 1912 and 1914 mark a "peak in late 'Brücke' landscape painting" (Andreas Gabelmann, Das Motiv der Landschaft im Werk der "Brücke," in: Ex. cat. Im Rhythmus der Natur, Städtische Galerie, Ravensburg, 2006/2007, p. 28).
According to Dr. Wolfgang Henze, director of the E. L. Kirchner Archive, "the work Kirchner created on Fehmarn is equal in scope and importance to that body he simultaneously created in Berlin [and is] complementary to it" (ex. cat. E. L. Kirchner. Eine Ausstellung zum 60. Todestag, Kunstforum Vienna, 1998, p. 41).

After the artistically so outstanding summer of 1913, the year in which our painting was created, Kirchner returned to the island once again the following year, but he had to end his stay ahead of time, since Fehmarn was part of a restricted military zone at the beginning of the First World War. Kirchner would never return to the island.

The "Fehmarnküste mit Leuchtturm" in Renowned Private Collections and Museums

In 1999, an exhibition at the Ernst Barlach Haus in Hamburg reconstructed the vast private collection of Martha and Dr. Paul Rauert from Hamburg. It was compiled from 1907 on and largely preserved until Dr. Paul Rauert's death in 1938. In 1907, the couple discovered Expressionist art and in particular the painting of the "Brücke" in an exhibition of Emil Nolde's works at the Galerie Commeter in Hamburg. Nolde had been a member of the artist group for several months between February 1906 and November 1907. A little later, through the mediation of the Hamburg art historian Rosa Schapire, the Rauerts also met Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, the beginning of a lifelong preoccupation and fascination with German Expressionism and a lifelong commitment to the art of the "Brücke". In 1908, Martha Rauert even became a passive member of the group. Although the collection of over 200 works had a clear focus on the art of Nolde and Schmidt-Rottluff, it also comprised works by Erich Heckel and probably also six paintings by E. L. Kirchner, including the impressive "Fehmarnküste mit Leuchtturm". Together with the Hamburg district court director, author and art collector Gustav Schiefler, the former director of the Hamburg Kunsthalle Alfred Lichtwark and the art historian Rosa Schapire, Martha and Paul Rauert were among the supporters and collectors of the "Brücke" artists of the very first hour.

Our work and the Rauert Collection are also mentioned in a letter from Gustav Pauli, then director of the Hamburg Kunsthalle, to E. L. Kirchner. In his letter Pauli wrote: "Dear Mr. Kirchner, before I received your letter, I have already hung your paintings. In the middle on the wall the ‘Bauernmittag’ (Farmer's Lunch), on the left of it the ‘Baumgrenze’ (Tree Line) and on the right the ‘Wannseebahn’ (Wannsee Rail). A little further left I put up a small landscape on loan from Dr. Rauert and on the right your self-portrait. The wall looks very well" (letter from December 1, 1924, quoted from: Hans Delfs (ed.), Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Der gesamte Briefwechsel, vol. 2 (1921-1925), Stockdorf 2012, letter no. 1371). Thus, in 1924, the Rauert couple apparently gave the present painting as a loan to the Kunsthalle Hamburg for a certain period of time. After the death of Dr. Paul Rauert in 1938, Martha Rauert had to gradually sell large parts of the collection for financial, but also political reasons. Until her own death in 1958, numerous works changed hands, and individual works passed into the collection of Margrit and Bernhard Sprengel in Hanover. In 1946, our "Fehmarnküste mit Leuchtturm" became part of the well-known collection of Dr. Max Lütze (1889-1968) in Hamburg (later Frankfurt am Main), which, with its focus on painting and sculpture, was considered one of the most extensive private collections of German Expressionism at that. Lütze was an engineer, builder, industrialist, and longtime board member of the construction company Wayss & Freytag AG. Lütze compiled most of the important collection in the 1930s and 1940s, the very period when Expressionist artists were ostracized by the National Socialists. Other masterpieces in his collection of over 180 works include "Die kleinen blauen Pferde" by Franz Marc and the "Citronengarten" by Emil Nolde, as well as important works by the "Brücke" artists Otto Mueller and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. After Lütze's death, his heirs gave the collection to the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart as a long-term loan.

The fact that the work "Fehmarnküste mit Leuchtturm" has been part of such renowned German collections of Expressionism over the past one hundred years certainly says a lot about its quality: in the early 20th century as part of the renowned collection of Martha and Dr. Paul Rauert in Hamburg, then in the collection of Dr. Max Lütze in Hamburg, and in more recent times in the Hermann Gerlinger Collection in Würzburg, probably the most important private collection of "Brücke" art to date. Over these decades, the painting was on display at the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart, the Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf, in Schleswig, the Kunstmuseum Moritzburg in Halle an der Saale, and finally at the Buchheim Museum in Bernried. Thus looking back on a tour of some of Germany's most important museums. [CH]


Buyer's premium and taxation for Ernst Ludwig Kirchner "Fehmarnküste mit Leuchtturm"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation.

Differential taxation:
Hammer price up to 500,000 €: herefrom 32 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 500,000 € is subject to a premium of 27 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 500,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 2,500,000 € is subject to a premium of 22 % and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 2,500,000 €.
The buyer's premium contains VAT, however, it is not shown.

Regular taxation:
Hammer price up to 500,000 €: herefrom 25 % premium.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 500,000 € is subject to a premium of 20% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 500,000 €.
The share of the hammer price exceeding 2,500,000 € is subject to a premium of 15% and is added to the premium of the share of the hammer price up to 2,500,000 €.
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.

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