Lovis Corinth - Römische Blumen - image-1
Lovis Corinth - Römische Blumen - image-2
Lovis Corinth - Römische Blumen - image-1Lovis Corinth - Römische Blumen - image-2

Lot 19 Dα

Lovis Corinth - Römische Blumen

Auction 1200 - overview Cologne
01.06.2022, 18:00 - Evening Sale - Modern and Contemporary Art
Estimate: 250.000 € - 300.000 €
Result: 516.600 € (incl. premium)

Lovis Corinth

Römische Blumen

Oil on canvas. 75 x 84 cm. Framed. Signed and inscribed 'Lovis Corinth Roma 1914' in black lower left.

Lovis Corinth had already been dealing with the theme of transience in his annual self-portraits since 1900. When the artist suffered a severe stroke in late 1911, this experience of the finite character of his own existence surely deepened his interest in this subject matter. For him, the still life became a means of expression that he would utilise intensively to engage with the concept of vanitas, the irrevocably past time in the life of everything in nature.
In April 1914 the painter set out with his wife Charlotte on a journey to the south of France and to Italy. After stops in Nice and Monte Carlo, they briefly stayed in Rome, where he created two paintings. Using two different views of the same bouquet in his hotel room, the painter created the two magnificent still lifes “Römische Blumen im Krug” (Berend Corinth 628) and “Römische Blumen”, which we are able to offer at this auction. Shortly thereafter, the couple would have to break off their journey due to the looming threat of war: they returned to Berlin by way of St Moritz, and the First World War broke out on 1 August 1914.
Corinth’s floral still lifes celebrate the opulence of nature in a splendidly luxuriant and diverse abundance of colours and forms. “They are hymns to colour and light; they revel in the luxuriousness of an excess of beauty that the eye can scarcely comprehend and from which it is unable to withdraw its attention” (Cathrin Klingsöhr-Leroy, in: Lovis Corinth, exh. cat. Galerie Karsten Greve, Paris 2022, p. 30). In rapid, fleeting brushstrokes he gives expression to the substance of the plants with the greatest vitality possible. A dramatic arrangement of white lilies, arum lilies, dark red hibiscus and violet rhododendrons develop an exceptionally sensual effect in this work. While “Römische Blumen im Krug”, with its vase seen at a slightly upward angle, presents a quite conventional composition, here the downward view on to the bouquet, which fills the entire picture plane and contains no auxiliary objects of any kind, enables viewers to become immersed in the blooms’ luxuriance and beauty. Within the context of the gathering threat of war, they can equally be seen as a memento mori and as an expression of pure abundance of life.

Catalogue Raisonné

Berend-Corinth 629


Margarete v. Gayl, Dresden; Galerie Dietrich, Munich; private property, Bavaria


Berlin 1926 (National Galerie), Lovis Corinth. Ausstellung von Gemälden und Aquarellen zu seinem Gedächtnis, cat. no. 262 (Owner: Margarete Freifrau von Gayl, Dresden); Dresden 1927 (Kunstverein), cat. no. 78