As of May 15, 2024

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner

Lot 414
Kopf Ludwig Schames, 1918
Woodcut

22.1 x 9.9 in (56.2 x 25.2 cm)

Lot 414
Kopf Ludwig Schames, 1918
Woodcut
22.1 x 9.9 in (56.2 x 25.2 cm)

Estimate:
€ 20,000 - 30,000
Auction: 21 days

Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co KG

City: Munich
Auction: Jun 08, 2024
Auction number: 554
Auction name: Modern Art Day Sale

Lot Details
Woodcut. Signed (vertical). On blotting paper. 56.2 x 25.2 cm. Sheet: 58,2 x 43,5 cm.
Made by commission of the Frankfurt Kunstverein in December 1918. Printed as annual bonus for "Vereinigung für Neue Kunst", Frankfurt am Main. [CH].
- The depiction of the Frankfurt art dealer and banker Ludwig Schames (1852-1922) is considered one of the most significant print art portraits of the 20th century. - Kirchner accompanies the slim head with a female nude in the back in order to reference the profession of the depicted person. - Other copies of this famous woodcut are in renowned international museums like the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Museum Folkwang, Essen and the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. - In total, 25 of the to date known copies are owned by German or international museums.
LITERATURE: Annemarie u. Wolf-Dieter Dube, E. L. Kirchner. Das graphische Werk, Munich 1967, no. H 330 II (of III). Günther Gercken, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Kritisches Werkverzeichnis der Druckgraphik, vol. 4 (1917-1919, no. 848-1131), Bern 2015, no. 896 II (of III, illu.). - - Heinz Spielmann (ed.), Die Maler der Brücke. Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Stuttgart 1995, pp. 268f., SHG no. 391 (fig.). Hermann Gerlinger, Katja Schneider (eds.), Die Maler der Brücke. Inventory catalog Hermann Gerlinger Collection, Halle (Saale) 2005, pp. 346f., SHG no. 778 (fig.).
Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig (permanent loan from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, 1995-2001). Kunstmuseum Moritzburg, Halle an der Saale (permanent loan from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, 2001-2017). Buchheim Museum, Bernried (permanent loan from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, 2017-2022) Expressiv! Die Künstler der Brücke. Die Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Albertina Vienna, June 1 - August 26, 2007, p. 274, cat. no. 176 (full-page illu., p. 275)
Hermann Gerlinger Collection, Würzburg (with the collector's stamp, Lugt 6032)
Kirchner maintained a close friendship with the Frankfurt art dealer Ludwig Schames (1852-1922) throughout his life. In his "Kunstsalon" at Boersenstraße 2 in Frankfurt, he began to embrace Modernism at an early stage, promoting German Expressionist artists and later also Max Beckmann. As early as 1916, he held his first major exhibition of works by E. L. Kirchner. Between 1916 and 1922, Schames organized four comprehensive Kirchner exhibitions in his Frankfurt gallery, through which the artist became more widely known, particularly in Germany, and was able to establish contacts with important collectors such as Ludwig and Rosi Fischer and Dr. Carl Hagemann. The woodcut offered here, created in 1918, is one of E. L. Kirchner's most important woodcut portraits. Kirchner probably created this expressive character study from the memory of the highly esteemed art dealer whom he saw for the last time in November 1916. The bearded face is carved out of the wooden plate in dynamic sections. Its elongated contour is echoed in the background by a female nude sculpture - a reference to the sitter's profession. As Kirchner did not have a printing press at his disposal, he produced the entire edition by hand using a rubbing and folding bone. This special circumstance lends each of the prints, which vary slightly in their application of color, the character of a trial proof, a quality that an edition executed by a professional printer could never possess. Ludwig Schames died on July 3, 1922 and Kirchner was deeply saddened by the news. On July 19, he wrote to Martha Marx, the daughter of the deceased: "Believe me, I feel as if I have lost a father, a father and friend. His so selflessly fine manner made otherwise unpleasant things beautiful. In all the time we worked together, there was not a single misunderstanding. I saw little of him, but his image was and is so vivid in my mind that I feel as if I am talking to him when I write to him. [...] I have never met a more noble and refined person and it is difficult, twice as difficult today, to lose such a person." (Hans Delfs, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Der gesamte Briefwechsel, 2010, no. 1015) [MvL/CH]
Fine and harmonious overall impression. Minimally discolored, margins minimally sunned. Expertly closed splits and skinned spots in margins. Edges with small kinks.
Lot Details
Woodcut. Signed (vertical). On blotting paper. 56.2 x 25.2 cm. Sheet: 58,2 x 43,5 cm.
Made by commission of the Frankfurt Kunstverein in December 1918. Printed as annual bonus for "Vereinigung für Neue Kunst", Frankfurt am Main. [CH].
- The depiction of the Frankfurt art dealer and banker Ludwig Schames (1852-1922) is considered one of the most significant print art portraits of the 20th century. - Kirchner accompanies the slim head with a female nude in the back in order to reference the profession of the depicted person. - Other copies of this famous woodcut are in renowned international museums like the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the Art Institute of Chicago, the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, the Museum Folkwang, Essen and the Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main. - In total, 25 of the to date known copies are owned by German or international museums.
LITERATURE: Annemarie u. Wolf-Dieter Dube, E. L. Kirchner. Das graphische Werk, Munich 1967, no. H 330 II (of III). Günther Gercken, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner. Kritisches Werkverzeichnis der Druckgraphik, vol. 4 (1917-1919, no. 848-1131), Bern 2015, no. 896 II (of III, illu.). - - Heinz Spielmann (ed.), Die Maler der Brücke. Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Stuttgart 1995, pp. 268f., SHG no. 391 (fig.). Hermann Gerlinger, Katja Schneider (eds.), Die Maler der Brücke. Inventory catalog Hermann Gerlinger Collection, Halle (Saale) 2005, pp. 346f., SHG no. 778 (fig.).
Schleswig-Holsteinisches Landesmuseum, Schloss Gottorf, Schleswig (permanent loan from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, 1995-2001). Kunstmuseum Moritzburg, Halle an der Saale (permanent loan from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, 2001-2017). Buchheim Museum, Bernried (permanent loan from the Hermann Gerlinger Collection, 2017-2022) Expressiv! Die Künstler der Brücke. Die Sammlung Hermann Gerlinger, Albertina Vienna, June 1 - August 26, 2007, p. 274, cat. no. 176 (full-page illu., p. 275)
Hermann Gerlinger Collection, Würzburg (with the collector's stamp, Lugt 6032)
Kirchner maintained a close friendship with the Frankfurt art dealer Ludwig Schames (1852-1922) throughout his life. In his "Kunstsalon" at Boersenstraße 2 in Frankfurt, he began to embrace Modernism at an early stage, promoting German Expressionist artists and later also Max Beckmann. As early as 1916, he held his first major exhibition of works by E. L. Kirchner. Between 1916 and 1922, Schames organized four comprehensive Kirchner exhibitions in his Frankfurt gallery, through which the artist became more widely known, particularly in Germany, and was able to establish contacts with important collectors such as Ludwig and Rosi Fischer and Dr. Carl Hagemann. The woodcut offered here, created in 1918, is one of E. L. Kirchner's most important woodcut portraits. Kirchner probably created this expressive character study from the memory of the highly esteemed art dealer whom he saw for the last time in November 1916. The bearded face is carved out of the wooden plate in dynamic sections. Its elongated contour is echoed in the background by a female nude sculpture - a reference to the sitter's profession. As Kirchner did not have a printing press at his disposal, he produced the entire edition by hand using a rubbing and folding bone. This special circumstance lends each of the prints, which vary slightly in their application of color, the character of a trial proof, a quality that an edition executed by a professional printer could never possess. Ludwig Schames died on July 3, 1922 and Kirchner was deeply saddened by the news. On July 19, he wrote to Martha Marx, the daughter of the deceased: "Believe me, I feel as if I have lost a father, a father and friend. His so selflessly fine manner made otherwise unpleasant things beautiful. In all the time we worked together, there was not a single misunderstanding. I saw little of him, but his image was and is so vivid in my mind that I feel as if I am talking to him when I write to him. [...] I have never met a more noble and refined person and it is difficult, twice as difficult today, to lose such a person." (Hans Delfs, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Der gesamte Briefwechsel, 2010, no. 1015) [MvL/CH]
Fine and harmonious overall impression. Minimally discolored, margins minimally sunned. Expertly closed splits and skinned spots in margins. Edges with small kinks.

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