Walter Gramatté - Vom Tibidabo (Barcelona mit Pinien)

Walter Gramatté - Vom Tibidabo (Barcelona mit Pinien) - image-1
Walter Gramatté - Vom Tibidabo (Barcelona mit Pinien) - image-1

Walter Gramatté

Vom Tibidabo (Barcelona mit Pinien)

Oil on canvas 65.5 x 81.5 cm Framed (original artist's frame). Unsigned. Inscribed "Barcelona - Pinien Walter Gramatté" (i.a.) in pencil by an unknown hand verso on stretcher and with customs stamps from Vienna and Frankfurt on upper stretcher bar. - In fine condition, partially with unobtrusive flat craqueleur.

After the difficult years in Berlin following the war, which did however bring the beginning of important friendships with Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff in 1919, Walter Gramatté decided to emigrate with his young wife and lover, the Russian pianist Sophie-Carmen Fridman (“Sonia”), whom he married in 1920. He left Germany and moved to Spain. Not only did these events signify a turning point in the unsettled and constantly threatened life of the artist: his artistic creativity also gained new impulses. Stylistically his works broke free from his Expressionist-influenced beginnings. The experience of his journeys and of nature - his impression of the sensuality and beauty of the southern landscapes he discovered - changed his pictures' content, his techniques and the way he painted. The new paintings, including the views of Barcelona, display “a cheerfulness that had previously been unusual in his work. [...] This renunciation of strong tension is typical of all his Spanish landscapes. However, the end result is no less mystical than in his early period, although the effect is achieved through the use of other means, above all, through lighter colours.” (Ferdinand Eckhardt, Introduction to the exhib. cat. Walter Gramatté, Bilder, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik, Brücke-Museum Berlin, 1968, p. 8). This very happy period in his life is also reflected by aspects of his oeuvre, such as an abundance of fresh water colours, which were transposed into large-format paintings.
“Vom Tibidabo” provides an expansive view across the ranges of hills and mountains around Barcelona as seen from an elevated standpoint and depicted in almost powdery-looking, matt and light colours. The sea and the sky curve up and merge together in a broad arc in the background, definitely calling to mind the backdrops of Erich Heckel and the “world landscapes” of earlier periods. The flood of light and the barrenness of the south find a formal and very modern equivalent in the apparent emptiness and the sparingly selected indications of details. The painting makes a sublime and transcendent impression through its peculiar tonality and its consistently as well as boldly two-dimensional depiction of all its components.

Catalogue Raisonné

Negendanck 110; Eckhard B 108 ("Vom Tibidabo (Barcelona)")


Artist's estate; Dr. Ferdinand Eckhardt, Winnipeg/Canada


Hamburg 1932 (Kunstverein), Walter Gramatté, cat. no. 27; Kiel/ Bremen/ Königsberg/ Danzig (travelling exhibition) 1932-1933, Walter Gramatté, cat. no. 12; Ottawa 1966 (The National Gallery of Canada), Walter Gramatté, cat. no. 17; Düsseldorf 1996 (Galerie Remmert und Barth), Walter Gramatté. Ausgewählte Werke 1916 bis 1926, cat. no. 59 with colour. illus.; Davos/ Hamburg 2008/2009, Walter Gramatté, cat. no. 69 with colour illus.

Lot 232 Dα

25.000 € - 30.000 €