Sale: 545 / Evening Sale, Dec. 08. 2023 in Munich Lot 52

Hermann Max Pechstein
Stillleben mit Orangen, 1909.
Oil on canvas
€ 300,000 - 400,000

$ 315,000 - 420,000

Stillleben mit Orangen. 1909.
Oil on canvas.
Signed and dated in upper left. Titled and inscribed with the artist's Berlin address "Durlacher Str. 14" and the price "300" [Mark] on the reverse. 50 x 65 cm (19.6 x 25.5 in).
Find more works from the William Landmann Collection in our Modern Art Day Sale on Saturday, December 9, 2023 and in our Online Only Auction from November 15 - December 10, 2023.

• Radiant still life from the early Berlin days of the "Brücke".
• Works made during that time were seminal for Pechstein's expressionist style, which had its peak in 1910.
• The artist showed a similar still life in the spring exhibition of the Berlin Secession.
• The painting's provenance reflects Germany's eventful history.
• From the William Landmann Collection, Canada

PROVENANCE: Marczell von Nemes Collection, Munich (until 1930).
Marczell von Nemes Estate(until 1934: Lepke)
Das Kunsthaus Herbert Tannenbaum, Mannheim.
Acquired on behalf of the below from the above in 1934)
Collection of William (Dr. Wilhelm) Landmann (1891-1987), Mannheim / Amsterdam / Toronto (from the above).
Collection of Martin Landmann (1923-2021), Vancouver, Canada (obtained from the above).
Ever since family-owned.

EXHIBITION: Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (July 1939-1946 as loan from the Landmann Collection).
European sculpture and painting from the collection of William Landmann, Toronto, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, October 18 - November 17, 1946.
Für die Kunst! Herbert Tannenbaum und sein Kunsthaus. Ein Galerist – seine Künstler, seine Kunden, sein Konzept, Reiß-Museum Mannheim, September 11, 1994 - January 8, 1995, cat. no. 246, p. 110 (color illu. p. 90).

LITERATURE: Aya Soika, Max Pechstein. Catalogue raisonné of oil paintings, vol. I, 1905-1918, Munich 2011, cat. no. 1909/3 (color and black-and-white illu.)
Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Berlin, Gemälde, Bildwerke, altes Kunstgewerbe des 16. bis 18. Jahrhunderts aus einer süddeutschen Sammlung, auction on June 12, 1934, lot 310 with illu. on plate 8.
Documents on the loan from the Landmann Collection, archive of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, folder 707.
Documents on the loan from the Landmann Collection, archive of Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam, folder 698, p. 18, no. 617.
Exhibition list from 1946, archive of the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto.
Robert Hubbard, European Paintings in Canadian Collections II, Toronto 1962, p. 160.

Called up: December 8, 2023 - ca. 18.42 h +/- 20 min.

Return from Paris and first success in Berlin
On April 26, 1909, the Berlin Secession opened its spring exhibition. The selection included three works by the “Brücke” member Hermann Max Pechstein, who had returned from Paris the year before. The commission accepted a landscape, a nude and a still life. Erich Heckel had already discovered young Pechstein's powerful painting in Dresden three years earlier, when he made a ceiling picture for the 1906 Dresden Decorative Arts Exhibition in such unconventional colors that the client had it muted by gray splashes. Pechstein quickly became a member of the "Brücke". The 1905 founded artist group had defined its goal of a painting opposed to Impressionism and based on the power of the color, and to "attract all seething revolutionary forces" (Schmidt- Rottluff). Pechstein developed his expressionist style in the environment of the “Brücke” members, but he set out for Italy on a scholarship in 1907. The impressions of the great Italian masters like Giotto, Mantegna and Botticelli confirmed his artistic goals. He mentioned in a letter that he wanted to continue to live up to "simplicity, generosity combined with beautiful color." During his subsequent stay in Paris, it was the city’s Gothic buildings and the crowds of people that left a lasting impression on Pechstein. Additionally, the spirit of optimism that the art scene around the Fauves emanated, who also sought to free themselves from impressionism, also left its mark.

Pechstein finally returned to Germany in August 1908 under the abundance impressions of this trip and moved into an attic studio on Berlin’s Kurfürstendamm. The old connection to Heckel, Kirchner and Schmidt-Rottluff still existed. In January 1909, together with some of the "Brücke" members, he visited a Matisse exhibition in Paul Cassirer's gallery. Only a few months later, in April 1909, Pechstein finally managed to do what his friends of the artist group were denied: He took part in the spring exhibition of the Berlin Secession, which, as he recalled later, was the decisive breakthrough: "The ice was broken, and my art, later called 'Expressionism' by art scholars, had found its path." (H. M. Pechstein, 1949, quoted from: P. Thurmann/A. Soika/A. Madesta, Max Pechstein. Ein Expressionist aus Leidenschaft, Munich 2010, p. 280). Pechstein even sold two of the works on display, the landscape and the still life. He used the proceeds to finance his first stay in Nida on the Curonian Spit in the summer of the same year. Probably due to the success of his landscapes and still lifes, he increasingly turned to these two subjects in 1909.

According to Aya Soika, the present "Stillleben mit Orangen” (Still Life with Oranges), which is inscribed with the Berlin address on Durlacher Str. 14, was created in March 1909, around the same time as the still life exhibited in the Berlin Secession and which is considered lost today. A price is also indicated on the back; Pechstein figured that 300 Marks would be appropriate for this still life. From today's perspective ridiculously low price, as the phase in Berlin around 1909 is regarded a time of fundamental creativity that peaked in the works created in 1910.

Pechstein's "Stillleben mit Orangen" from the early Berlin "Brücke" period

In the German Expressionism of the "Brücke" artists, still lifes, alongside nudes, landscapes, cabaret scenes and portraits, are among the central motifs. Hermann Max Pechstein's works also revolve around these genres, although his painting style differed from that of his fellow artists, as it is closer to the actual appearance of the scene or object depicted. In contrast to Kirchner or Heckel, Pechstein remained more closely connected to real forms and achieved the expressive visual effect primarily through the use of bright colors in generous, strongly contoured compositions.

Created under the immediate impression of the Matisse exhibition at Galerie Paul Cassirer at the beginning of 1909 and the influence of his trip to Italy and France, the present still life bears the irrepressible power of the young artist and the diversity of influences it was created with. In retrospect of his early days in Berlin, Pechstein wrote: "Now I threw myself into work. Everything I had absorbed urged me to create. Sketches, drawings and drafts poured out of my hands." (Max Pechstein, Erinnerungen, edited by Leopold Reidemeister, Stuttgart 1993, p. 33). This energy and creative power can also be felt in our still life, which is a wonderful document of Max Pechstein’s towards a groundbreaking streamlining of the composition and a stringent color statement. The objects depicted have already been greatly reduced to their basic forms. Pechstein divided the background into just two areas, a floral tablecloth and a wall indicated by horizontal lines. The pattern of the floral tablecloth reappeared a little later in the painting "Die grüne Jacke” (The Green Jacket, 1909), however, in form of a wall hanging. The comparison illustrates that Pechstein depicts objects in his still lifes that he found in his direct surroundings, capturing the immediate impression on the canvas. Objects, furnishings and, above all, fabrics and wall hangings appear time and again in the works of the other "Brücke" artists. As historical photographs show, they were mostly part of their studio’s decoration. They allow conclusions to be drawn about the community and bear witness to the artistic dynamism of the environment that the characteristic "Brücke" style could form within just a few years.

How impressive the impact of Pechstein's work from early 1909 must have been in comparison with that of other artists outside the "Brücke" is emphasized in the artist's memories. Looking back at the Berlin Secession exhibition, he wrote: "On the opening day, I was shocked when I realized how strong and clear my pictorial language stood in opposition to Impressionism." (Max Pechstein, Erinnerungen, Stuttgart 1993, pp. 33f). [AR]

Dr. William Landmann – The Eventful Story Behind An Acclaimed Collection

Only a few of the large Jewish art collections were able to survive the National Socialist dictatorship as a whole. In this regard, the story of the works of art owned by Dr. Wilhelm Landmann from Mannheim is ever the more remarkable. Wilhelm Landmann was born in Schifferstadt in 1891. Among his eleven siblings, he was always considered the ‘intellectual’ and aptly earned a PhD title in both economics and law. He spent his study days with a no less important friend: Herbert Tannenbaum (1892–1958). Their biographies would remain closely intertwined throughout their lives.

1920 was a key year for Tannenbaum and Landmann. Herbert Tannenbaum opened his avant-garde art gallery “Das Kunsthaus” in Mannheim, which would be the source of most works in the collection of his best friend Wilhelm over the following decade. Likewise in 1920, Wilhelm, for his part, became a partner in his brother Paul's company, the renowned “Graphische Druckanstalt Paul Isidor Landmann” in Mannheim. That same summer he married Julie Herbst, daughter of a well-known corset manufacturer from Mannheim, whom he had met during his studies.

When the National Socialists came into power, the Landmanns - both Wilhelm and his wife Julie were Jewish – faced increasing pressure and it soon showed that they had to leave their home country. Julie's sister had already been living in the Netherlands for some years with her husband Otto Wachenheim, who was also a well-known art collector, so they had quickly found their emigration destination. In the spring of 1936, Wilhelm, Julie and their two sons fled to Amsterdam. The Tannenbaums followed their friends at the end of the year. A small emigrant community of art lovers formed in Amsterdam, and they were in active contact with the painters Max Beckmann and Heinrich Campendonk. When Campendonk visited the Landmanns in their apartment in 1938, he saw a small drawing by Franz Marc and he told them that he was with Marc when he made the sheet.

The Landmanns were also in close contact with Willem Sandberg (1897–1984), curator and from 1938 deputy director at the Amsterdam Stedelijk Museum, as well as a strong advocate of Modernism. Today he is remembered as the “savior” of the Landmann Collection. In July 1939, shortly before the war began, Landmann donated parts of his collection to the museum and moved to Toronto with his family, knowing what was to come.

The donation list reads like a Who’s Who of the luminaries of German Modernism - Nolde, Dix, Lehmbruck, Grosz, Kokoschka and others. The paintings by Pechstein, Mueller, Schmidt-Rottluff and Hofer offered here were also on that list. From then on, parts of the Landmann Collection were on display at the Stedelijk Museum, while the rest was kept in safe custody. The Landmann family's handwritten inventory states that the paintings offered here were exhibited in Amsterdam.

The Landmann Collection could survive the war years at the Stedelijk Museum. In 1946, Wilhelm Landmann, who henceforth called himself William, received his paintings and sculptures back. He subsequently parted with some works - in 1946, for example, he sold the painting “Metropolis” (Big City) by George Grosz to the then highly renowned Museum of Modern Art in New York, where it is still located today. But he kept other works in his collection, which was exhibited on several occasions at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto over the following years. [AT]

Buyer's premium, taxation and resale right compensation for Hermann Max Pechstein "Stillleben mit Orangen"
This lot can be subjected to differential taxation plus a 7% import tax levy (saving approx. 5 % compared to regular taxation) or regular taxation, artist‘s resale right compensation is due.

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.

Calculation of artist‘s resale right compensation:
For works by living artists, or by artists who died less than 70 years ago, a artist‘s resale right compensation is levied in accordance with Section 26 UrhG:
4 % of hammer price from 400.00 euros up to 50,000 euros,
another 3 % of the hammer price from 50,000.01 to 200,000 euros,
another 1 % for the part of the sales proceeds from 200,000.01 to 350,000 euros,
another 0.5 % for the part of the sale proceeds from 350,000.01 to 500,000 euros and
another 0.25 % of the hammer price over 500,000 euros.
The maximum total of the resale right fee is EUR 12,500.

The artist‘s resale right compensation is VAT-exempt.