Hermann Max Pechstein - Apokalyptische Reiter - image-1

Lot 315 Dα

Hermann Max Pechstein - Apokalyptische Reiter

Auction 1059 - overview Cologne
27.11.2015, 18:00 - Modern Art
Estimate: 20.000 € - 25.000 €
Result: 29.760 € (incl. premium)

Hermann Max Pechstein

Apokalyptische Reiter
Circa 1919

Pencil and coloured chalk drawing on firm chamois-coloured drawing paper with perforated lower margin 47.5 x 35.8 cm Framed under glass. Monogrammed 'HMP' lower right. - The lower right thumbtack hole minimally torn, professionally restored.

In the winter of 1918/1919, Max Pechstein was also politically involved. He participated in the founding of the “Novembergruppe“, designed posters for the promotional service of the German Socialist Republic and worked on the short-lived newspaper project “An der Laterne“, which positioned itself against the Marxist Spartacus League. It was in this paper that the present drawing was first published.
The bizarre group of figures utilises a prominent diagonal composition, emphasising the violent fervour of their advance upon the burning city. Pechstein combines biblical with classical motifs in the juxtaposition of the skeletal figure of death brandishing a scythe with one of the viper-haired Furies at his side as a personification of vengeance. Like two apocalyptic riders on their black and white mares the duo brings death and corruption upon the earth whilst the moon obscures the light of the sun.
In this drawing, Pechstein relates his experiences during the First World War - first as a soldier on the Somme in 1916 and later as an observer for the aerial reconnaissance of the Luftwaffe in Berlin - in a metaphorical but highly expressive form. The present work represents a special case within Pechstein's limited oeuvre in which he deals critically with the horrors of the Great War. In contrast to the less descriptive drawings and prints of this period (for example the 12 works listed by Krüger as “Lithos 1917/Kriegslithographien", L 190-202), the present drawing is an autonomous, highly expressive work with a correspondingly significant provenance, having been formerly in possession of the Bauhaus pupil Ms. Tony Simon-Wolfskehl.


We would like to thank Alxender Pechstein, Max Pechstein Urheberrechtsgemeinschaft, for the friendly information
For information regarding Tony Simon-Wolfskehl, we would like to thank Marianne Kröger, Frankfurt


Formerly collection Tony Lasnitski (Tony Simon-Wolfskehl), Bauhaus scholar (from whom acquired by the former owner in 1977/1978 ); Private collection since, Ghent


An die Laterne, Berlin 1919, issue 8, with full-page colour illus.; Marianne Kröger, "Tony Simon-Wolfskehl (1893-1991) - Bauhaus-Erinnerungen im belgischen Exil", in: Inge Hansen-Schaberg/Wolfgang Thöner/Adriane Feustel (ed.), Entfernt. Frauen des Bauhauses während der NS-Zeit - Verfolgung und Exil, Munich 2012, p. 275-294