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MAX PECHSTEIN (1881-1955)

 
MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in. MAX PECHSTEIN - Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein) - oil on canvas - 29 1/2 x 23 1/2 in.
Damenbildnis (Charlotte Pechstein)c. 1917-191829 1/2 x 23 1/2 in.(74.93 x 59.69 cm) oil on canvas
Provenance
Frieda Michaelis, Berlin/Uruguay/Argentina;
Gerda Mayer, Berlin/Argentina
Enrique Mayer, Uruguay/Argentina, 1995
Private Collection Arnetina
Sotheby's London, Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale, 21, June, 2005, lot 398
Private Collection, United States
Sotheby's New York, Impressionist & Modern Art Day Sale, 17 May 2017, lot 175
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“I would like to express my longing for happy experiences. I do not want us to be forever regretting. Art has been and remains the part of my life that brings me happiness.” – Max Pechstein

History

When organizers for the Dresden Arts and Crafts Exhibition of 1906 deemed Max Pechstein’s ceiling painting offensive, they dulled its unconventional color scheme by dappling its surface with gray paint. That audacious effrontery prompted Erich Heckel and his Die Brücke cohort Ernst Ludwick Kirchner to invite Pechstein to join their small coterie that was inspired by the writing of Nietzsche and primitive cultures and intent upon working with unrestrained color and formal distortions. The impetus was to escape the repressive social structures of modern society and to return to a more authentic, liberated mode of being — both in terms of living and art making. Pechstein did join, and their collective breakthrough came in September 1910 at the prestigious Galerie Ernst Arnold exhibition in Dresden when its four principal members—Heckel, Kirchner, Pechstein, and Schmidt-Rottluff—were given equal wall space. Yet it was Pechstein who emerged as the key proponent of the group and the first of the expressionists to gain success and recognition. As evidence of that circumstance, a monograph on Pechstein was published in 1916, he would receive several private commissions, and found favor with one of the most influential critics of the time who wrote that the artist was the “purest example and strongest representative of the extensive expressionist movement.” (Paul Fechter, der Expressionismus, R. Piper & Co., Verlag, München, 1914, pg. 27).

More
  • Pechstein38420_history1
    Lotte Pechstein 1917, photograph by Minya Diez-Dührkoop
  • Pechstein38420_History2
    Selbstporträt von Max Pechstein aus dem Jahre 1918
  • Pechstein38420_History3
    Max und Lotte Pechstein – Palau, 1914
  • Pechstein38420_History4
    Max Pechstein in his house in Berlin-Zehlendorf, 1915, photo by Waldemar Titzenthaler

Top Results at Auction

“Weib mit Inder auf Teppich” (  Früchte II, verso) (1910), oil on canvas, 28.1 x 32.5 in. Sold at Ketterer Kunst GmbH
“Weib mit Inder auf Teppich” (+ Früchte II, verso) (1910), oil on canvas, 28.1 x 32.5 in. Sold at Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co KG: Saturday, December 10, 2011 for $4,658,011 USD
“Zirkus mit Dromedaren” (c. 1910), oil on canvas, 45.4 x 36.5 in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 for $3,800,355 USD
“Zirkus mit Dromedaren” (c. 1910), oil on canvas, 45.4 x 36.5 in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: Tuesday, February 5, 2008 for $3,800,355 USD
“Die gelbe Maske I” and (  Sängerin in Rot, verso) (1910), oil on canvas, 18.3 x 15 in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: Monday, June 23, 2014 for $3,569,484 USD
“Die gelbe Maske I” and (+ Sängerin in Rot, verso) (1910), oil on canvas, 18.3 x 15 in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: Monday, June 23, 2014 for $3,569,484 USD
“Stilleben mit Akt, Kachel und Früchten” (  Kurische Waldlandschaft, verso) (1913), oil on canvas, 38.8 x 39 in. Sold at Christie’s New York: Thursday, May 12, 2016 for $2,165,000 USD
“Stilleben mit Akt, Kachel und Früchten” (+ Kurische Waldlandschaft, verso) (1913), oil on canvas, 38.8 x 39 in. Sold at Christie’s New York: Thursday, May 12, 2016 for $2,165,000 USD

Comparable Paintings Sold at Auction

“Die gelbe Maske I” and (  Sängerin in Rot, verso) (1910), oil on canvas, 18.3 x 15 in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: Monday, June 23, 2014 for $3,569,484 USD
“Die gelbe Maske I” and (+ Sängerin in Rot, verso) (1910), oil on canvas, 18.3 x 15 in. Sold at Sotheby’s London: Monday, June 23, 2014 for $3,569,484 USD
  • Third highest price for Pechstein at auction
  • Earlier example from 1910, an important year at the height of Pechstein’s association with the Brücke group
  • Smaller canvas than our portrait
“Lotte mit Kopftuch” (c. 1919), oil on canvas laid on canvas, 34.6 x 24.6 in. Sold at Ketterer Kunst GmbH
“Lotte mit Kopftuch” (c. 1919), oil on canvas laid on canvas, 34.6 x 24.6 in. Sold at Ketterer Kunst GmbH & Co KG: Friday, December 6, 2013 for $1,625,821 USD
  • Same sitter in comparable position
  • Painted around the same time as our portrait
  • Slightly larger, sold for over $1.6 million in 2013
“Bildnis Charlotte Cuhrt” (1910), oil on canvas, 68.9 x 33.5 in. Sold at Ketterer Kunst GmbH: Saturday, June 13, 2015 for $929,263 USD
“Bildnis Charlotte Cuhrt” (1910), oil on canvas, 68.9 x 33.5 in. Sold at Ketterer Kunst GmbH: Saturday, June 13, 2015 for $929,263 USD
  • Large portrait in a non-standard format
  • From a desirable year, 1910
  • Different sitter, less significant than his wife Lotte, depicted in our portrai

Paintings in Museum Collections

“Junges Mädchen” (1908), oil on canvas, 25 ¾ x 19 ¾ in. 
Brücke-Museum, Berlin
“Junges Mädchen” (1908), oil on canvas, 25 ¾ x 19 ¾ in. Brücke-Museum, Berlin
“Porträt einer Frau” (verso) (1908), oil on canvas, 18 ¼ x 21 ½ in. 
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
“Porträt einer Frau” (verso) (1908), oil on canvas, 18 ¼ x 21 ½ in. National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
“Modellpause” (1925), oil on canvas, 25 ¼ x 30 ¾ in. 
Kunstmuseum, Lucerne
“Modellpause” (1925), oil on canvas, 25 ¼ x 30 ¾ in. Kunstmuseum, Lucerne

Image Gallery

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