Max Slevogt - Crevetten auf Eis
Crevetten auf Eis
Oil on wooden panel 49.5 x 61 cm Framed. Signed and dated 'Slevogt 1913' in black lower right. - The edges partly slightly rubbed due to framing with few retouches. Small loss of colour to lower right margin.
Max Slevogt's extraordinary talent for observation and his masterful engagement with paint as material culminate in our opulent still life. Although Slevogt created relatively few still lifes over the course of his life, his particular interest in the pioneering painting of Manet and Cézanne nonetheless reveals itself precisely in these works. In these sometimes subtly experimental pictures, Slevogt is not seeking a naturalistic depiction of the object but a free gaze and recognition of his subject matter.
There is a generous effect to the selection of shrimp as the central motif, which Slevogt has presented in the form of an abundant serving placed on a wooden crate and surrounding a monolithic piece of ice. In contrast to Vincent van Gogh's masterfully arranged still life featuring mussels and shrimp from 1886 (F 256; Hulsker 1169), for example, Slevogt has focused his attention even more decisively on the qualities of the light and particularly the painted colour, which he has applied with impasto brushstrokes, thus achieving a painting possessing an almost haptic quality. Finally, with the ice, he has added an exceptionally charming element to the composition, with the opaque and sparkling gleam of its surface standing in captivating contrast to the luminous tonality of the shellfish.
Hans-Jürgen Imiela has pointed out that Slevogt's relatively short periods of occupation with the theme of the still life sometimes performed a clarifying function (see Hans-Jürgen Imiela, Max Slevogt. Eine Monographie, Karlsruhe 1968, p. 257). Our painting was, in fact, created just briefly before Slevogt's journey to Egypt, which would once again provide his work with a decisive impulse.
Imiela 1968, p. 389, annot. 19 ("Crevetten")
We would like to thank Bernhard Geil for confirmatory and additional information.
Formerly Collection Carl Steinbart, Berlin; Collection Georg Schäfer, Schweinfurt; Villa Grisebach, Berlin, Kunst des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts, Auction 25, 30 May 1992, Lot 138; Private collection, Rhineland-Palatinate, in family possession since
Kunst und Künstler. Illustrierte Monatsschrift für Bildende Kunst, vol. XXVII, 1929, ill. p. 27 ("Crevettenstilleben")
Berlin 1918 (Freie Secession und Paul Cassirer), Ausstellung zum 50. Geburtstag Max Slevogts, cat. no. 163 ("Krevetten auf Eis"); Berlin 1928 (Preußische Akademie der Künste), Ausstellung zum 60. Geburtstag Max Slevogts, cat. no. 103; Munich 1964 (Haus der Kunst), Secession. Europäische Kunst um die Jahrhundertwende, cat. no. 529 ("Grosses Crevetten-Stilleben"); Yokohama 1990 (Sogo Museum of Art), Impressionismus in Deutschland, cat. no. 95 with colour ill. p. 144 ("Großes Crevetten-Stilleben")