August Wilhelm Esperstedt - Young Woman by a Well - image-1

Lot 308 Dα

August Wilhelm Esperstedt - Young Woman by a Well

Auction 1150 - overview Berlin
16.05.2020, 12:00 - The Prussian Sale
Estimate: 4.000 € - 5.000 €
Result: 10.000 € (incl. premium)

August Wilhelm Esperstedt

Young Woman by a Well

Oil on canvas. 115.3 x 85.3 cm.
Signed lower right: Esperstedt.

This work depicts a young lady sitting at a well, gazing into its waters. Seemingly lost in thought, she binds her dark hair absentmindedly into a braid.

Little is known about the painter August Wilhelm Esperstedt. In his expertise, Professor Börsch-Supan assembles a small oeuvre of just eight paintings recorded in the catalogues of the Berlin Academy Exhibitions from 1832 - 1839. After this, we lose all trace of this talented painter from whom the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III purchased three works. All eight of Esperstedt's recorded paintings have since been lost, including those in the possession of the Prussian royal. The sparse information available on his oeuvre indicates that he painted landscapes and portraits as well as genre scenes and ambitious history paintings. A view of the Abbey of San Giacomo in Capri dated 1832 which appeared on the Parisian auction market in 2015 also suggests that he visited Italy before his documented activity in Berlin. The present work may originate from this earlier period, with its southern-inspired motif of a dense oleander bush peeking through behind a Cypress tree. The girl's costume with its red and white striped sash also suggests an Italian influence.


Dr. Helmut Börsch-Supan, Berlin 2019.


Private ownership, Rhineland.