Max Slevogt - Stehender Schimmel
Oil on card on plywood 65.5 x 65 cm Framed. Signed and dated 'Slevogt 1902' in black lower right. - A few retouches in the left third of the picture.
Images of animals are very present in Max Slevogt's work from 1901 and 1902. The artist first created a great number of animal drawings and watercolours at the Frankfurt zoo in 1901, and he developed these into a series totalling 29 oil paintings of predators, primates and parrots with their keepers. In the summer of the following year - Slevogt had moved to Berlin in the meantime - he devoted his attention to a series of images of riders, a theme presumably inspired in the Frankfurt studio of Wilhelm Trübner.
The best known of these is “Württembergischer Dragoneroffizier zu Pferde” (Landesmuseum Hannover), in which one of the artist's nephews served as the model for the young officer. That year the artist also depicted the same horse from the likeness - a proud grey - alone in the painting offered here. The animal and landscape are captured in rapid, confident strokes. The horse is depicted in strict profile, in keeping with the classic tradition of likenesses of horses, and the surrounding passage of landscape which can be located behind the artist's premises in Neukastel is reduced to a section of pasture sloping upwards slightly and featuring a dark area of shrubbery. The coat's diverse shades of white and grey merge towards the top into the sky's blue and white - with reddish nuances - which generates the cool atmosphere of the painting's light. Working with natural light in the open air was of great importance for Slevogt from this point forward, and he created numerous open-air likenesses in this period.
Cf. Imiela 1968, annot. 10, p. 376 ("Schimmelstudie")
With a photo-certificate by Hans-Jürgen Imiela, Mainz, dated 24 June 1996
Dorotheum Salzburg, Auktion Klassische Moderne und Zeitgenössische Kunst, 9 June 2004, Lot 537 ("Stehender Schimmel in pfälzischer Landschaft"); Private possession, Rhineland-Palatinate