Sale: 540 / Evening Sale, June 09. 2023 in Munich Lot 13


Max Liebermann
Große Seestraße in Wannsee, Um 1925.
Oil on canvas
€ 400,000 - 600,000

$ 440,000 - 660,000

Große Seestraße in Wannsee. Um 1925.
Oil on canvas.
Lower right signed. Inscribed with the artist's name and the number "20963", as well as titled "Große Straße in Wannsee" on a label on the reverse. 73 x 92.2 cm (28.7 x 36.2 in).

• Masterly depiction of the promenade in Berlin Wannsee in summer.
• The "Große Seestraße" is among Liebermann’s finest motifs.
• More than 90 years of provenance history: Bruno Cassirer Collection, art trader Paul Cassirer and part of a private collection in Zürich for more than 80 years.
• Liebermann's works from the 1920s are among his most sought-after creations on the international auction market.
• Similar paintings are in important museums, among them the Nationalgalerie Berlin, the Kunsthalle Hamburg, the Kunsthalle Bremen, the Gemäldegalerie Neue Meister, Dresden, the Niedersächsische Landesmuseum, Hanover, and the Museum Wiesbaden

Accompanied by a written expertise issued by Prof. Dr. Matthias Eberle, Max Liebermann Archive, Berlin, from May 10, 2017. The work will be included into the addenda of the catalogue raisonné of paintings under the number 1925/32a.

Invitation to a speech in context of our preview show in Berlin:
"Max Liebermann in Wannsee – jenseits seines Gartens“
by Drs. Margreet Nouwen, Max Liebermann Archive, Berlin.
Date: Thursday, June 1, 2023, 4 p.m. at Ketterer Kunst, Fasanenstraße 70, 10719 Berlin.

PROVENANCE: Bruno Cassirer Collection, Berlin (until August 30, 1933).
Art dealer Paul Cassirer, Berlin (acquired from the above on August 30, 1933, until September 7, 1933).
Galerie Aktuaryus, Zürich (acquired from the above on September 7, 1933).
Berti Guggenheim-Wyler Collection, Zürich (acquired from the above in 1933, thereafter family-owned).
Private collection Berlin (acquired from the above)

Offered in an amicable agreement with the heirs after Bruno Cassirer. We are grateful to Dr. Imke Gielen, Berlin, for her kind advice and the good cooperation.

EXHIBITION: Presumably Max Liebermann, Galerie Aktuaryus, Zürich, September 1933, work list in: Galerie und Sammler, Monatsschrift der Galerie Aktuaryus, Zürich, issue 9/10, p. 168, cat. no. 23 (titled "Große Seestraße").

"What makes the Wannsee pictures so effectful is the strength of their pictorial translation."

Erich Hancke, Max Liebermanns Kunst seit 1914, in: Kunst und Künstler, vol 20, 1922, p. 345.

"We are staying in the country, like every year, and even though Wannsee is still part of Berlin, it is quite a way from Pariserplatz, where, looking out of the window, I can witness the troubles of our days all too well."

Max Liebermann in a letter to William Rothenstein, June 28, 1934, quoted from Ernst Braun, Max Liebermann. Briefe, vol. 7, no. 694, p. 549.

Called up: June 9, 2023 - ca. 17.24 h +/- 20 min.

In 1909, Max Liebermann acquired a large plot of land directly on the Wannsee, onto which he would not only build a representative summer residence, the "Liebermann Villa" (privately run museum since 2006), but also an impressive garden with flower beds, birch grove, jetty, vegetable garden, gardener's house, gravel paths, benches and a small fountain designed by August Gaul. From 1910 the artist spent the summer months with his family in his paradise on Wannsee, in the course of which he achieved an astonishingly intensive, fruitful artistic creative phase, especially in the years after the First World War: the period of the famous Wannsee-Bilder” (Wannsee Pictures), in which Liebermann captured various corners of his magnificent garden or its immediate surroundings. Today they are regarded the lovely highlight of his versatile late work.

The present work does not show a part of the actual garden, but the former "Große Seestrasse" (today "Am Grossen Wannsee"), running directly past Liebermann's property and which the artist captured in several paintings from around 1915 onward. A contemporary photograph shows the artist with an easel, painting utensils and onlookers painting on "Colomierstrasse", a small side street off "Große Seestrasse". Liebermann usually went right into the middle of the action to paint, and also seems to have set up his easel in the middle of the street to paint this picture, with a view of the visitors strolling down the avenue to the popular recreation destinations on the lake not far from the city. The artist shows a summery, cheerful scene on the promenade, which is pleasantly shaded by the canopy of tall, old trees. Where the bright blue sky flashes through the treetops above the avenue, bright patches of sunlight dance on the ground, while the ramblers are depicted wearing dresses in bright colors and with hats and parasols.

The painting reflects the very lightness and serenity characteristic of plein-air painting and Impressionism, to which Liebermann would become particularly committed after his trip to Paris in 1896. The bright, rich, powerful colors are partly applied to the canvas in impasto, sweeping brushstrokes. Instead of the change of seasons, which inspired many artists, it is the richness and splendor of the summer that Liebermann wanted to show in his pictures. His brushwork does not follow a certain uniform structure, but the liveliness of summer becomes perceptible through brushstrokes of very different widths and from different angles, and in particular through the juicy, strong summer colors, which he also applied with a spatula. Urban nature played a major role in Liebermann's oeuvre. His works not only show his garden and the nature of his neighborhood in Berlin-Wannsee, but also the avenues in the Dutch town Overveen on the North Sea or the zoos in Berlin and Amsterdam, as well as cozy beer gardens in Brannenburg in Bavaria, and garden bars the on the river Havel or polo players in Hamburg's Jenischpark.

At around the turn of the 20th century, Liebermann's work had undergone a transition: from the grave and demure depictions of the hard life of farmers and fishermen, meticulously prepared in countless studies, to lively depictions of outdoor activities, of tennis players and horse riders , walkers and bathers. From the brownish-dark palette reminiscent of the Old Masters, to the lightheartedness of plein-air painting in bright pastel colors, the light nuances and soft color transitions. From the carefully planned and thoroughly composed studio picture in the spirit of the academic tradition to the spontaneous depictions of nature composed on the canvas with a brush and spatula right in front of the motif. Hence"Große Seestraße in Wannsee" is an outstanding work from the so important creative phase of the 1920s, an immediate and unadulterated account of Liebermann's unique transformation from a representative of Realism to perhaps the most important German impressionist. [CH]


Buyer's premium and taxation for Max Liebermann "Große Seestraße in Wannsee"
This lot can be purchased subject to differential or regular taxation.

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.