Sale: 545 / Evening Sale, Dec. 08. 2023 in Munich Lot 36

Lovis Corinth
Paraphrase (Bildnis der Charlotte Berend), 1907.
Oil on canvas
€ 250,000 / $ 262,500
€ 317,500 / $ 333,375

(incl. surcharge)
Paraphrase (Bildnis der Charlotte Berend). 1907.
Oil on canvas.
Lower left signed. 88 x 63 cm (34.6 x 24.8 in).
• Portraits of his wife Charlotte are among Lovis Corinth's most personal and intimate works.
• Corinth's enthusiasm for this moment is palpable in the painting, as it emanates a rhapsodizing mood.
• The fleeting virtuosity of the brushwork and the use of delicate yet radiant colors emphasizes the summery character of the airy mpressionist painting style.
• With "Paraphrase", one of the last works from this impressive work complex is offered on the international auction market.
• With a history of almost 100 years of important exhibtions, Nationalgalerie Berlin in 1926, the Museum Folkwang Essen, 1958, and the retrospective exhibition at Tate Gallery in 1997

PROVENANCE: Dr. Oscar Pinner, Frankfurt a. Main.
Anna Pinner (inherited from the above in 1928, until the storage of the relocation goods).
Auction house Otto Schweppenhäuser, Frankfurt a. Main (auction of stored relocation goods).
Kunsthaus Wilhelm Ettle, Frankfurt a. Main (acquired from the above around 1938).
Berger Mühle near Muschenheim (safety deposit through the above, until September 25, 1945).
Property Control Section, Military Government Frankfurt a. Main., Kunsthaus Ettle, Berger Mühle near Muschenheim (obtained from above, in storage, September 25, 1945 - May 28, 1947).
Central Collecting Point: Wiesbaden (from the above, in storage, May 28, 1947 - May 07, 1952, Wie no. 4838).
Department for the Trusteeship of Cultural Property, Federal Foreign Office (from the above on May 07, 1952, in storage).
Wilhelm Ettle (reobatined from the above, presumably in 1953).
Private collection Germany.
Kunsthaus Bühler, Stuttgart (with labels on the reverse, 1983-1997).
Private collection Germany.
Anmicable agreement with the heirs after Dr. Oscar and Anna Pinner (2013).
Private collection Germany.
The work is free from restitution claims.

EXHIBITION: Commemorative exhibition Lovis Corinth, Nationalgalerie Berlin 1926, no. 136.
Lovis Corinth. Commemorative exhibition, Sächsischer Kunstverein, Dresden ,1927, no. 48.
Lovis Corinth, Kunsthaus Bühler, Stuttgart 1983.
Deutscher Kunstandel im Schloß Charlottenburg, Orangerie '83, Berlin, 1983, cat. no. 21.
Lovis Corinth 1858–1925, Museum Folkwang, Essen, November 10, 1985 - January 12, 1986/ Kunsthalle der Hypo-Kulturstiftung, Munich, January 24 - March 30, 1986, fig. no. 40.
Künstler in Deutschland 1900-1945. Individualismus und Tradition, Württembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart, September 18 - November 9, 1986.
Lovis Corinth - Retrospektive, Haus der Kunst, München, May 4. - June 21, 1996; Nationalgalerie Berlin, August 2 - October 20, 1996; Saint Louis Art Museum, November 14, 1996 - January 26, 1997; Tate Gallery, London, February 20 - May 4, 1997, cat. no. 67.
Lovis Corinth. Das Leben ein Fest! Belvedere, Vienna, June 18 - October 3, 2021/ Saarlandmuseum, Moderen Galerie, Saarbrücken, November 5, 2021 - February 20, 2022, pp.140/141, cat. no. 342.

LITERATURE: Charlotte Berend-Corinth, Lovis Corinth. Die Gemälde. Catalogue raisonné, Munich 1992, no. 342.
Rudolf Klein, Lovis Corinth, in: International Art, a review of the art of all countries, volume 3, Leipzig, presumably 1908/09 (illu., titled "Madame v. W.").
Robert Bertrand, Lovis Corinth, Paris 1940, no. 25.
Carl Georg Heise, Lovis Corinth. Bildnisse der Frau des Künstlers. Erinnerungen an die Entstehung der Bilder von Charlotte Berend-Corinth, Stuttgart 1958, pp. 23f., no. 7
Archive materials:
Correspondence regarding Corinth exhibition in 1926, L-Z, SMB-ZA, I/NG 675, ll. 166f.
CCP, Wiesbaden, file card no. Wie4838 (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0113, pp. 1-4).
Ettle Case: Belongings (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0073, p. 61).
Ettle Case: Belongings held at Wiesbaden (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0073, pp. 23, 51, 53).
Ettle Case: Military Government (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0075, p. 14).
Ettle Case: Military Court [1 of 2] (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0075, p. 116).
Ettle Case: Correspondence (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0074, pp. 39, 105, 129).
Ettle Case: Inventory (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0074, p. 21).
Out-Shipmaent 390, May 7, 1952 (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0036, p. 6).
Ettle Case: Prison Correspondence (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0076, p. 25).
Jewish Claims (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0009, p. 89).
Jewish Claims: Jewish Restitution Successor Organizsation (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0009, p. 116).
Correspondance: General 1948-1949 (NARA, Washington, M1947, Record Group 260, Roll 0026, p. 6).
Bavaria: Sanspareil – Miscellaneous: Metternich Report (NARA, Washington, M1940, Record Group 260, Roll 0006, p. 549).

In 1901, the 21-year-old art student Charlotte Berend introduced herself to Lovis Corinth to join his recently founded "Malschule für Weiber" (Painting School for Women). At this time, the 22-years-older artist already looked back on an eventful life. Leaving his home in East Prussia, Corinth made stops in the art metropolises Paris and Munich, and eventually arrived Berlin, where he soon became successful in the Secessionist circle around Paul Cassirer and was considered the third main representative of German Impressionism alongside Max Liebermann and Max Slevogt. From the beginning of their acquaintance, Charlotte did not only sit for him, but became the center of his life: They got married in 1904, and the devoted and loving partner she was, Charlotte Berendt would continue to take care of his legacy with untiring commitment for decades after his death. In addition to scores of documents, about 80 portraits that Corinth had made of Charlotte testify to their immensely fulfilling relationship. They show the adored wife and mother of their two children in very different moments, situations, and roles. A high degree of empathy, as well as an immensely intimate expressiveness on the part of the painter for his preferred model is what all these works have in common. Thus the paintings also have a biographical character, they are touching testimonies of a happy relationship between two artists at the beginning of the 20th century.
Corinth paints Charlotte
In 1907, Lovis and Charlotte Corinth spent their summer at Timmendorfer Strand on the Baltic Sea to recover from the hustle and bustle of the Berlin art business. Half a century later, Charlotte wrote about the circumstances in which "Paraphrase" was created: "On one hot day, we went down to the beach, which was quite a distance from the small apartment we rented. To protect me from the burning sun, I had put my white lace scarf over my hair during the drive. The next day Corinth said: 'I would like to paint you the way you looked in the car yesterday - in the light yellow dress with the laces and the scarf covering your head. But I need to have the same bright midday light - almost shadowless. I wondered if we should try it in the arbor in our little garden.' We went to the arbor, and Lovis was delighted. 'Yes! In fact, I'll have full light at noon.' He began to paint and said, 'I tell you, it looks great. Like you're sitting in a froth of lace. Maybe I'll be lucky enough to finish it in one go, because it may be rainy weather again tomorrow.' He almost finished the painting in the first session, then he shouted: 'The light is changing, I'll stop. I'll only need an hour at most tomorrow. But the part of the hands between the lace is so beautiful, I want to paint it tomorrow with new strength.' Lovis had 'his proper light' again the following day and finished the painting. 'The way you just sit there looks simply splendid, my little elf,' he kept exclaiming." (Carl Georg Heise: Lovis Corinth. Bildnisse der Frau des Künstlers. Erinnerungen an die Entstehung der Bilder von Charlotte Berend-Corinth. Stuttgart 1958, no. 7, page 23.)

Corinth's enthusiasm for this moment becomes palpable in the painting, a enraptured mood evident in the fleetingly virtuoso brushwork and the use of delicate, yet radiant colors: White-gray, yellow, salmon pink, and a bluish violet blend into the delicate lace dress that inspired the painter to make the highly virtuoso painting. With the dark brooch, Corinth centers the overall structure and sets an accentuating moment that underlines the charm of the transient moment. The bright green of the arbor’s plants emphasizes the summery character of the airy impressionist style. Charlotte is depicted almost life-size as a half-figure sitting in a wicker chair that is only hinted at. Her presence, her attentive gaze is directed at her husband and at us as we are looking at the portrait. The model seems relaxed, she has been accustomed to sit for her husband for years, not to move, an incomparably intense experience arises between painter and model. In her memoirs, Charlotte Berend-Corinth described these occasions: "I remember those wonderful hours when he painted me and directed his penetrating gaze at me before he even put the first brushstrokes onto the canvas. His eyes then opened wide. The color of his eyes changed from deep blue to a crystalline glow. [..] I could never really express how happy I was when Lovis painted me. Since I witnessed how he conceived, developed and completed the picture, I understood his artistic idea, which had prompted him to paint a picture of me again and again. For I felt myself in each portrait, both my nature and the particular mood I was in. My whole nature finds expression in the portraits, my whole being." (Charlotte Behrend-Corinth, Mein Leben mit Lovis Corinth, Munich 1958, p.16)

Back in Berlin, the painting remained on the easel in Corinth's studio for quite some time. In her memoirs, Charlotte recollected how Alfred Kerr, the most influential German theater critic at the beginning of the 20th century, casually found an amusingly mocking characterization for her recent portrait: "There Alfred Kerr saw it while Lovis was painting him. Dr. Kerr saw himself 'not exactly flattered' by his portrait. When he saw mine on the easel, he said sarcastically, 'And since we are on the subject of 'flattery,' I would rather call the portrait of you, Charlotte, a 'paraphrase.' Lovis, who had a liking for irony and was never offended by the judgment of a witty person, laughed. From now on we called the picture ‘Paraphrase'. 'And it actually is', Corinth said, 'very similar, but Kerr can’t see it that way.'" (Carl Georg Heise: Lovis Corinth. Bildnisse der Frau des Künstlers. Erinnerungen an die Entstehung der Bilder von Charlotte Berend-Corinth. Stuttgart 1958, page 24) Lovis Corinth made the portrait of the then very popular theater critic Alfred Kerr on his own behalf and without a commission. The painting remained in his possession until his death in 1925. Only then did it enter the art trade, where it was acquired by the architect Leo Nachtlicht. Today the painting is in the Stiftung Stadtmuseum Berlin.

Charlotte Berendt-Corinth

Charlotte remained a self-confident and independent artist even when she became Lovis' wife, mother of their children, model and companion. She was born the daughter of the Jewish cotton importer Ernst Berend and his wife Hedwig (née Gumpertz) on May 25, 1880. Together with her five-years-older sister, she grew up in well-to-do circumstances on Berlin's Kochstrasse and later on Charlottenburg's Kantstrasse. Supported by her father, Charlotte began to study painting at the ‘Klosterstraße Art School’ with Prof. Max Schäfer at the turn of the century, and would later transfer to the Berlin School of Arts and Crafts. "Lovis Corinth Malschule für Akt und Portrait. Vom 15. Oktober an: Berlin NW., Klopstock Straße 52, II. Auskunft wird erteilt im Bureau der Secession" (Lovis Corinth Painting School for Nudes and Portraits. Opening October 15: Berlin NW., Klopstock Strasse 52, II. Information provided by the Secession’s office) was how Lovis Corinth advertised his "Malschule für Weiber" (Painting School for Women) in the latest catalog of the Berlin Secession in 1901. Charlotte Berend was one of his first students and soon also his preferred model. In July 1902, the "Porträt Charlotte Berend im weißen Kleid" would be the first in a row many portraits of her. Teacher and model got married on March 26, 1903. Their son Thomas Ernst Franz was born in October 1904 (died 1988), followed by their daughter Wilhelmine in 1909 (died 2001). She rented her own studio in Berlin-Moabit, exhibited her paintings in the Berlin Secession from 1906, became a member in 1912 and was elected to join the board of the art association in 1924. She was deeply rooted in the lively Berlin theater scene, produced print portfolios and made book illustrations.

After the death of Lovis Corinth, Charlotte Berend traveled extensively: Spain, France, Switzerland, a trip to the Orient. She spent most of the 1930s in Italy, where she found her own style in painting landscape watercolor, with which she was invited to several exhibitions. In 1939 she followed her son Thomas to New York, where has already moved in 1931. However, she stayed with him only for a few months and moves on to Santa Barbara, California, where she lived from 1940 to 1945. Surrounded by friends, she painted numerous California landscapes. In 1945 she moved back to New York to be near her son and her newly immigrated daughter Wilhelmine, who had spent the war years in Hamburg. Charlotte Berend died in New York at the age of 86 on January 10, 1967.

The Frankfurt collector Dr. Oscar Pinner, a friend of Corinth, also fell for the passionate appeal of 'Paraphrase' with its transparent, light hues and its specific quality, and he acquired the painting shortly after it was made. Pinner's daughter Erna studied with Corinth from 1908. This portrait of his wife Charlotte was one of the painter's most personal and intimate works characterized by the interaction between the artistic and the human, the sensual and the spiritual. Many of them have found their way into some of the most important museum collections in Europe and the USA. With "Paraphrase", one of the last works from this impressive group is offered on the international auction market. [MvL]

Lovis Corinth
Paraphrase (Bildnis der Charlotte Berend), 1907.
Oil on canvas
€ 250,000 / $ 262,500
€ 317,500 / $ 333,375

(incl. surcharge)