Sale: 545 / Evening Sale, Dec. 08. 2023 in Munich Lot 41

August Macke
Junge mit Buch und Spielsachen, 1912.
Oil on canvas
€ 300,000 - 400,000

$ 315,000 - 420,000

Junge mit Buch und Spielsachen. 1912.
Oil on canvas.
With the estate stamp inscribed "VR. 313" on the reverse of the stretcher and the canvas (Lugt 1775 b). 87.5 x 71 cm (34.4 x 27.9 in).

• Made at the peak of the "Blaue Reiter" immediately after the almanac "Der Blaue Reiter" was released.
• In a seemingly common motif, Macke transgresses the rules of perspective and freely stages form and color.
• Particularly large and expressive work in radiant colors

We are grateful to Eline van Dijk, LWL-Museum, Münster, for her kind expert advice.

PROVENANCE: Artist's estate.
Elisabeth Erdmann-Macke.
Wolfgang Macke (presumably acquired from the above).
Siegfired Adler, Monatgnola-Lugano (acquired from the above on November 12, 1968).
Gordon Hampton, California (in 1974 loaner Pasadena, according to a label on the reverse).
Private collection (acquired at Sotheby’s, London, April 1, 1981, lot 45).
Private collection Switzerland (acquired at Sotheby's, London, February 3, 2009, lot 14).
Private collection Switzerland (acquired from the above).

EXHIBITION: German Expressionist Painting and Sculpture from Californian Collections, April 16 - June 2, 1974.

LITERATURE: Ursula Heiderich, August Macke - Gemälde, Ostfildern, 2008, no. 398, illustrated p. 427.
Gustav Vriesen, August Macke, Stuttgart, 1957, no. 313, p. 325.
Galerie Gerda Bassenge, Berlin, May 3 - 7, 1966, lot 1298 with color illu. p. 4 (not sold).
Christie's, London, June 30, 1980, lot 35.
Sotheby's, London, May 1, 1981, lot 45.
Sotheby's London, Impressionist & Modern Art Evening Sale, February 3, 2009, lot 14.

LWL-Museum für Kunst und Kultur, Münster, Macke archive, MA-285,2 LM; MA-285, 03 LM; MA-285, 4 LM; MA-286,3 LM; MA-388, G 266.
"Of all of us, he gave color the brightest and purest sound, as clear and bright as his whole being was."
Franz Marc in his obituary for August Macke

Called up: December 8, 2023 - ca. 18.20 h +/- 20 min.

From Paris to Tegernsee
In the fall of 1909, Macke was and his wife Elisabeth Gerhardt were staying in Paris, he received an invitation from the writer Wilhelm Schmidtbonn to visit him on Tegernsee. Macke decided to go and arrived Tegernsee together with his wife, who was close to deliver, in late October 1909. In 1910, Macke and Franz Marc met and became close artist friends. His first son was born the same year, an intense experience that deeply moved the emotional young painter.

"The year on Tegernsee was an extremely happy period in August Macke's life. For his work, this first period of rest meant an opportunity to clarify impressions, to process a broad reception of traditions, as well as the avant-garde, and finally the breakthrough of long pent-up creative energies. Even years later he was still drawing on the abundant influx of pictorial ideas in his sketchbooks" (quoted from: Usula Heiderich, August Macke. Gemälde, Werkverzeichnis, Ostfildern 2008, p. 49). Macke had absorbed various influences during his travels and in previous stages of his artistic training, with Matisse and Derain being the ones most worthwhile mentioning, as they taught him to see color in a new way and to shape forms differently than he used to. The result is a formally calmed painting, which is of a new intensity and clarity in terms of colors. In the summer of 1911, August Macke joined the "Blaue Reiter", in the group Franz Marc remained one of his closest confidants, while the relationship between Kandinsky and Münter tensed.

The portrait of his son in the Bonn studio.
Soon there would not be enough room for the family on Tegernsee, so the the young artist returned to Bonn, where the young artist had relatives and was able rebuild a small studio house.In the background of the the painting "Junge mit Buch und Spielsachen" (Boy with Book and Toys), we see a blue upholstered couch that can be assigned to August Macke’s studio in Bonn. The painting shows strong reference to the works that were created on Tegernsee in 1909 and 1910. A drawing, which is listed in the catalogue raisonné by Ursula Heiderich under the number 653, can also be assigned to the painting. The drawing belongs to a group of sketches the artist made of the little boy, and they may have been created solely out of an irrepressible love for his small child. Today, a father would just pull out his cell phone. The drawing, however, offered the artist the chance to conceive a painting in the following year, not only to immortalize the beloved son, who had grown a year older, but as an opportunity to examine the effect and the position of the colors in relation to each other. Perhaps the most important artistic theme of August Macke’s creation, which ended all too abruptly with his early death in 1916.

Particularly large-format work with expressive, light and clear colors.
The seemingly calm painting impresses with its intense colorfulness. For August Macke, color was the most important means of creation. He confined himself to a few colors in minimal tinting. With their intensely colorful and generous, two-dimensional forms, August Macke's works from this period clearly show the influence of the painting of Henri Matisse and the Fauves. Macke had seen their works at exhibitions in Paris and later in Munich as early as in 1909.
August Macke's choice of subject is also a special feature of his painting. In many cases, he depicted his immediate surroundings, his family. The objects on the table, like the small stuffed hamster next to a small ball, can also be found in the painting "Walterchen's Spielsachen" (Städel Museum, Frankfurt). The family offered August Macke a strong feeling of safety and security; it was his earthly paradise. He knowingly blanked out world’s restlessness with all its problems and uncertainties. He made many paintings of the garden or his wife. In the present painting he depicted his son fully immersed in a book, showing feelings in harmony, the unity of man and nature.
Thus, this painting is an outstanding example of the formal and thematic focus of his Bonn period. It testifies to the quality of an artist acknowledged for his development of a new aesthetic that earned him a prime rank among the top artists of the early 20th century. On August 2, 1914, he was drafted for service and fell in the Champagne region just 7 weeks later. [EH]

Buyer's premium and taxation for August Macke "Junge mit Buch und Spielsachen"
This lot can be subjected to differential taxation plus a 7% import tax levy (saving approx. 5 % compared to regular taxation) 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.