Karl Blossfeldt - Centaurea kotschyana - image-1

Lot 512 Dα

Karl Blossfeldt - Centaurea kotschyana

Auction 1210 - overview Cologne
02.12.2022, 14:00 - Photography
Estimate: 9.000 € - 12.000 €
Result: 8.820 € (incl. premium)

Karl Blossfeldt

Centaurea kotschyana
1915 - 1925

Vintage gelatin silver print. 30.3 x 23.8 cm. Numbered in pencil by the photographer, 'Archiv Wilde, Köln' stamp as well as detailed notes on the subject in an unknown hand in pencil on the verso.

The photographic oeuvre of Karl Blossfeldt only became known to the wider public with the exhibition in Galerie Nierendorf in Berlin in 1926. Early prints such as those presented here were originally part of his collection of samples and served their author as illustrative material in the subject ‘Modelling from living plants’ at the Teaching Institute of the Arts and Crafts Museum where Blossfeldt worked. The production of photographic images of plant parts for teaching had several advantages: on the one hand it enabled perishable plant parts to be permanently recorded as a model, and on the other, even the smallest natural forms could be studied in detail with the appropriate magnification. Using pins to fix them to the wall – the present prints also display the resulting small puncture points at the corners – the photographs served the students as models in the creation of sculptures and drawings.
Whilst the detail of the flower head of a knapweed with its hairy bracts has a rather flat, ornamental character, the shot of the delicate bud of a maple blossom in front of a light, chamois-coloured background (cf. lot 513) has an almost three-dimensional effect. Both model types from the fundus of natural forms – those for sculptural designs and two-dimensional decoration – stand on equal terms in Blossfeldt’s work.


Private collection, Rhineland


cf. Karl Blossfeldt, Wundergarten der Natur. Neue Bilddokumente schöner Pflanzenformen, Berlin 1932, plate 46 (variant)