Ferdinand Brütt - The Telltale Study

Ferdinand Brütt - The Telltale Study - image-1
Ferdinand Brütt - The Telltale Study - image-1

Ferdinand Brütt

The Telltale Study

Oil on canvas. 92.5 x 106 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: Ferd. Brütt. Weimar 75.

With a label on the stretcher with a printed inscription "Ferdinand Brütt" and handwritten addition: ""Die verrätherische Studie" / von [printed: Ferdinand Brütt] / Weimar."
The sale of the "Verräterische Studie" marks the reappearance of one of the earliest major works by the Hamburg painter Ferdinand Brütt, the whereabouts of which remained unknown for many years. The composition was mainly known from early publications in the "Leipziger Illustrierte Zeitung" of 1877 and the magazine "Meisterwerke der Holzschneidekunst" (Masterpieces of Woodcutting) of 1879, where the content of the picture was already explained: according to this, the imperious farmer sees a sketch depicting his daughter in an interior. The fact that the daughter, who is sitting dismayed on a chair, and the painter of the sketch, who has already fled the room, are having an affair is revealed to the strict father by the "Telltale Study" left behind. This early genre scene by Brütts shows "the decisive moment of a narrative and encourages the viewer to add what happened before or what will follow afterwards" (Alexander Bastek, in exhib. cat., op. cit., p. 24). The painting was created during the young artist's training in Weimar, when, after an apprenticeship as a lithographer in Hamburg, he was a student of the Belgian history painter Ferdinand Pauwels at the Grand Ducal School of Art from 1870.
In the course of the important Brütt exhibition at the Museum Giersch in Frankfurt in 2007, which had come to the attention of the owner of the "Telltale Study", the painting could be shown there for the first time, whereby it was too late to include it in the exhibition catalogue, which had already been printed at the time. Now the work, dated 1875, is appearing at auction for the first time, providing a rare direct insight into Ferdinand Brütt's early genre painting, which was still characterised by humour and satire.


The work is thought to have been in the possession of Emperor Wilhelm II, who gifted it to his court painter Wojciech Kossak (1857-1942). - Kossak returned to Krakow in 1902 and bequeathed the painting to his secretary. - Thence by descent to the present owners.


Friedrich von Boetticher: Malerwerke des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts. Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte. vol. I.1, Leipzig 1891, p. 140, no. 1. - Exhib. cat. "Ferdinand Brütt (1849-1936) - Erzählung und Impression“, Museum Giersch, Frankfurt, 18.3.-15.7. 2007, Petersberg 2007, p. 24 and p. 228, cat. rais. no. 1875.2.


Ferdinand Brütt (1849-1936) - Erzählung und Impression, Museum Giersch, Frankfurt, 18.3.-15.7.2007 (aside from the catalogue).

Lot 2383 Dα

20.000 € - 30.000 €

18.750 €