Sale: 532 / 19th Century Art, Dec. 10. 2022 in Munich Lot 301

 

301
Carl Spitzweg
Mönch ("Sie liebt mich von Herzen, ein wenig..."), 1848.
Oil on panel
Estimate:
€ 60,000 / $ 56,400
Sold:
€ 93,750 / $ 88,125

(incl. surcharge)
Mönch ("Sie liebt mich von Herzen, ein wenig.."). 1848.
Oil on panel.
Wichmann 509. Lower left monogrammed "S in diamond" and datiert. Verso with an old label inscribed "Carlos Fürst Auersperg" and numbered "35". 31.3 x 25.5 cm (12.3 x 10 in).
Not identical with Roennefahrt 1111.
• Particularly impressive and empathic depiction of a single figure
• The "Mönch" is a key figure in Spitzweg's œuvre
• Wonderful combination of figure study and landscape picture
• Formerly in the collection of Carlos Fürst von Auersperg (1814-1890), Austrian statesman and art collector
.

We are grateful to Mr Detlef Rosenberger, who saw the original work, for his kind support in cataloging this lot.

PROVENANCE: Princess Auersperg (acquired from the artist).
Karl (Carlos) Wilhelm Philipp Prince Auersperg (1814-1890) (with the label on the reverse).
Fürst Rohan. [ Alain Benjamin Fürst Rohan 1853-1914?]
Carlos Fürst von Auersperg (reobtained from the above)
Private collection Leipzig (1947, according to Roennefahrt)
Private collection Bavaria.

EXHIBITION: Carl Spitzweg - Reisen und Wandern in Europa und der glückliche Winkel, Sedamm Kulturzentrum, Pfäffikon, September 22, 2002 - January 5, 2003; Haus der Kunst, Munich, April 24 - May 4, 2003, pp. 156-157, no. 72 (with illu.).

LITERATURE: Carl Spitzweg, sales register no. 81, "Mönch (Sie liebt mich v. Herzen ein wenig) Prag, 6. März 49, angeb. C/60 = 72 Bayer. p. Pichler, Bild 54, Rahmen 6, (60) verk. für 72 Gulden".
Siegfried Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg. Kunst, Kosten und Konflikte, Frankfurt a.M. et al 1991, p. 315, no. 81 (sales register).
Siegfried Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg, Sie liebt mich von Herzen, Dokumentation, Starnberg-Munich, R.f.v.u.a.K. 1993, pp. 5-13, Bavarian State Library, Munich, inv. no. Ana 656 SW 48.
Galerie Koller Zürich, Gemälde & Graphik, Alter Meister & des 19. Jh., Möbel, Spiegel, Leuchter, Helvetica & Bücher, Skulpturen, Varia, Waffen, Pendulen & Armbanduhren, Silber, Zinn & Schmuck, Teppiche, Tapisserien, March 10 - 12, 1993, lot 78 (with illu.).

In this work, Spitzweg devotes an unusual degree of attention to the figure of the monk, a solitary presence in the scene. Placed on the narrow path that has taken him to the top of the hill, the monk is silhouetted against the blue transparent sky. The minimalist scene subtly emphasizes the psychological expression of the monk’s character. Dressed in a secular manner with walking stick and red umbrella, he has plucked off the petals of a chamomile flower growing by the wayside, holding them in delicate hands whose gestural expression is reminiscent of the pointed fingers of the “Poor Poet”. Spitzweg is a true master of subtle, nuanced gestures and movements; with a questioning look, the monk turns his gaze to the village below, which features a church steeple and the cozy drift of smoke rising from a house. What kind of decision may the monk be making at this very moment? To be on the safe side, he has picked a second flower, allowing him to repeat the fortune-telling ritual in case he does not like the outcome first time round. Spitzweg began to paint clerics as solitary central figures amid the surrounding landscape in the 1840s. Among them are a country priest memorizing his breviary, a hermit longingly gazing at a passing girl and a Jesuit priest languidly smelling a bouquet of roses while a love-struck couple cuddles in the background. On a trip to Switzerland with his brother Eduard, Spitzweg stopped off in Solothurn to visit the local Capuchin monastery. He went on to see the rock-hewn dwellings of the hermitage of St. Magdalene in the Verena Gorge, leaving him with lasting impressions which he recorded in his richly themed Swiss Sketchbook of 1841/42. Following the dissolution of many monasteries during the period of secularization, monks took up occupations such as nursing and teaching, or went into hermitages. Both the bourgeoisie and the authorities began to question the validity of these life choices as well as the practice of celibacy, with several German states, among them Hesse, Bavaria and Saxony, advocating their abolishment at the start of the 19th century. Against the backdrop of Biedermeier-era family love, even the laity regarded the lonely monastic figures with a certain pity. Spitzweg’s monk may well be deliberating on such a decision of renunciation. The view of the church steeple, which resembles that of the Capuchin monastery in Solothurn, the little love flower and the view of the cozy home with the smoking chimney once again evokes one of the typical dramatic situations caught between duty and passion, reality and wishful thinking that define Spitzweg’s remarkable psychological and narrative skills. [KT]



301
Carl Spitzweg
Mönch ("Sie liebt mich von Herzen, ein wenig..."), 1848.
Oil on panel
Estimate:
€ 60,000 / $ 56,400
Sold:
€ 93,750 / $ 88,125

(incl. surcharge)