Oberesslingen 1893 - 1975 Oslo
Aquatint etching with drypoint and embossing on heavy wove paper. 59.5 x 44.9 cm (67.8 x 50.1 cm). Framed under glass. Signed and titled 'Elbbrücke' and inscribed 'Selbstdruck' in pencil. Proof from an unknown edition of less than 13 impressions. - The mat opening minimally browned with minor light-stain. Few minute foxmarks and studio traces in the margin.
We would like to thank Sidsel Helliesen, Oslo, for complementary and additional information.
Gustav and Luise Schiefler estate, Hamburg; in family possession since
The aquatint etching offered here was originally in the collection of the Hamburg jurist Gustav Schiefler, one of the profoundest connoisseurs and most important patrons of modern art, particularly the graphic art of his time. It is no surprise that Schiefler and Rolf Nesch, who was extremely experimental with regard to his printing techniques, found one another: from 1929 to 1933, during the four-year period when Nesch was working in Hamburg, Schiefler even became his most important partner.
“Elbbrücke III” is part of a sequence of 20 metal-plate prints that were created in 1932 and deal with the subject of “Hamburg's bridges”: a fascinating homage both to the bridges of the Elbe and the Alster as well as to the landing stages and elevated-rail bridges of that harbour city. The present image is based on the Norderelbbrücke, which was built in 1887 and features a striking system of supports in the form of undulating lines. The bundled forces of its structure are set off against a dynamic, abstract and sail-like form, and in Nesch's interpretation they seem to have been unleashed, so to speak.
Additional impressions of this rare sheet can be found in the Hamburger Kunsthalle, London's British Museum and at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.