Sale: 546 / 19th Century Art Day Sale, Dec. 09. 2023 in Munich Lot 300

Carl Spitzweg
Der Angler am Waldbach, 1844.
Oil on panel
€ 120,000 - 150,000

$ 127,200 - 159,000

Der Angler am Waldbach. 1844.
Oil on panel.
Lower right with the signature paraph as well as dated. 29.8 x 25.8 cm (11.7 x 10.1 in).

• Particularly concentrated motif in the composition of landscape and figure.
• From the phase of orientation towards the French draftsmen, against the background of Spitzweg's collaboration in the "Fliegende Blätter", first published in 1844.
• One of the few works that Spitzweg dated, of particular importance in the artist's oeuvre
• Characteristic humorous scene with inimitable Spitzwegian irony

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

PROVENANCE: Private collection Switzerland.
Private collection Baden-Württemberg.

LITERATURE: Siegfried Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg. Verzeichnis der Werke. Gemälde und Aquarelle, Stuttgart 2002, no. 281 (fig.).
Presumably sales index no. 44: "Fischende (2ter gemalter in Frak.. auf Holz) sh. No. 31, 1844 Jänner, Hannover, 36 Thaler, p. ct. retour, 1845, 14. Mai Straßburg, Gulden 90 Rheinische, 1845 Mannheim verkauft für 90 Gulden."
German Art Archive Nuremberg, estate of Hermann Uhde-Bernays, I.B, Spitzweg material collection, file "Bilder der Frühzeit" (fig.).
Siegfried Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg und die französischen Zeichner, ex. cat. Haus der Kunst Munich, 1985, p. 137, no. 101 (fig.), p. 426.
Siegfried Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg. Der Angler. Dokumentation, Starnberg-Munich, R.v.u.a.K. 1995, pp. 24f., Bayerische Staatsbibliothek Munich, inv. no. Ana 656 SW 76.

Called up: December 9, 2023 - ca. 13.30 h +/- 20 min.

This motif of the fisher was created at a time when Spitzweg was intensely interested in caricature and the pointed pen of French draftsmen. The painter, graphic artist and publisher Kaspar Braun founded the illustrated magazine "Fliegende Blätter" in Munich in 1844, for which he was also able to recruit Spitzweg as illustrator. It was modeled on the satirical Parisian magazines "Charivari" and "La Caricature", in which great artists such as Paul Gavarni, Gustave Doré and Honoré Daumier published their apt caricatures. The "Fliegende Blätter" also quickly became known for their unerring characterization of the German bourgeoisie. Between poems, stories and miscellany, the illustrations of such sheets in particular contributed to a panorama-like typology of society, in which the sedate bourgeoisie in particular became the focus of ridicule. Finally, the term "Biedermeier", which characterized the period of the first half of the 19th century, was also coined by figures in the "Fliegende Blätter".

This period of restoration up to the beginning of the bourgeois revolution of 1848 was characterized by a retreat into the private sphere, into the small pleasures of everyday life and a turning away from political or social turbulence. In contrast, ever greater attention was paid to the organization of private life and leisure time. One such well-off citizen, probably with an urban background, ended up in the solitude of the forest to fish in a small creek. His attire of tailcoat and vest, crisp white tie and tall black top hat does not seem particularly appropriate, and his nickel-rimmed spectacles suggest that he is more of a scholar or civil servant than an a man of the outdoors. His inexperience is also reflected in the unstable position he has put himself in by choosing the sloping stone on the bank of the stream. With raised eyebrows, he looks at his catch at the end of the line - presumably he had hoped for a bigger fish due to the bent fishing rod. The next disaster seems to be on the horizon - how long will the slippery stone keep the fisher from taking a dive?

Sunday fishermen and Sunday hunters appear in Spitzweg's repertoire of motifs from the 1830s/40s onward, always confronted with the pitfalls and dangers of nature. The fisher's counterpart, the Sunday hunter in "Jagdunglück" (Hunting Mishap, 1839, Museum Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt), also an unlucky man from the city with a top hat and glasses who falls victim to nature’s unpredictability and unexpectedly slips over a stone into a pond - which also seems imminent for the present fisherman.
In general, fishermen are a popular motif in caricature magazines. Fishing was regarded a new hobby in Munich for some time, when people gathered to meet along the river on Sundays. This was accompanied by problems such as too much competition or situations in which someone gets their feet wet or makes an unexpected catch. It is not only the "Fliegenden Blätter", but also the "Münchner Bilderbogen" that provide ridicule. Fishing as a hobby seems to become a symbol of the philistine - unlike more exciting sports or leisure activities, it is essentially characterized by waiting in seclusion and tranquility. Spitzweg, who painted the leafy rock face in a picturesque way, also addressed the experience of untouched nature. For the coltsfoot leaves on the left, he used drawings in his sketchbook from 1835.
Innovations in fishing law had gradually democratized this privilege and, similar to the hunting law of the 19th century, the citizens now went out into the countryside with their fishing rods. From the middle of the 19th century, the first fishing associations were formed and, following the example of the English fishing clubs, anglers met in Munich every week. Spitzweg already had Munich's amateur anglers in mind during a visit to Venice in September 1840, when he wrote a detailed account to his brother Eduard: "..when I looked into the water - what a yield, what a catch it would be for our city’s river ladies and lords if they were allowed to clear the lagoons for once - what miracles of the sea swim around here; I see, apart from the waste from kitchens and - etc. etc., shoe soles, pill boxes, etc., etc. - I see a lot of fish. Shoe soles, pillbox lids, shoe brushes without bristles, combs without teeth, the rarest sea fish so that you can catch them with your hands, something that looked like a wig and yet wasn't; a deep-sunk garter, cigar box lids without number, all kinds of things - and that’s just what floats on top! What a treasure there must be in the dark depths – jewels and gold nuggets are not known to float. - Excuse my poetic sweep of a delicate imagination, which must necessarily turn every house painter into an art painter!" (quoted from Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg und die französischen Zeichner Daumier, Grandville, Gavarni, Doré, ex. cat. Haus der Kunst, Munich 1985, p. 27).
Such personal experiences merge with the genre-like and at the same time caricature-like typology from which Spitzweg forms his famous eccentric figures. They have devoted themselves entirely to their passion and pursue it in the most beautiful dilettantism but with considerable zeal - basically in the same way that Spitzweg pursued his painting. As a citizen of Munich, Spitzweg, like the angler, is also often out and about in the mountains and in the countryside; as a painter and also equipped with nickel glasses, he himself may well have been perceived as an eccentric. The variety of variations on the angler motif in different techniques suggests that Spitzweg had already taken up the subject in the early 1830s and turned the lonely Sunday fisherman into one of his popular eccentric figures. This "Angler" is also one of the rare works with a date, which Spitzweg only added to his signature in exceptional cases at the request of his patrons or when a painting seemed particularly successful. [KT]

Buyer's premium and taxation for Carl Spitzweg "Der Angler am Waldbach"
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.