Photography is much more than a documentary capturing of reality. The artist's camera reveals details otherwise concealed from the human eye, unearths hidden connections, focusses on selected aspects, and initiates societal discussions and political developments. Lempertz was the first auction house in Germany to realise the value and importance of fine art photography: Photography auctions have been taking place under our roof since 1989. The entire spectrum of photographic art can be seen in auctions taking place twice a year, from the early prints of the pioneers of this medium in the 19th century to the iconic shots of classic 20th century photography and the masterpieces of the present day.
Would like to buy or sell photography, do you have questions regarding specific lots, or do you simply need trustworthy expertise? Due to photography's quality as a reproducing medium, the assessment and valuation of individual prints is especially challenging and requires years of experience and expertise. Our experts are happy to share their knowledge with you and are available to answer your questions via telephone, e-mail, or in person.
Photography as a genre has brought forth many varied works that delight fans and connoisseurs the world over, becoming beloved collector's items. Our photography auctions at Lempertz provide an exclusive selection of these works. The works feature a broad spectrum of motifs: From fashion shots, portrait photography, and still lifes to journalistic works and abstract fine art photography. Alongside their intrinsic artistic value, many of the works on offer also provide valuable documents of contemporary life and events. What unites all the works featured in our catalogues are the photographer's good eye, their instinct for the perfect shot, and the quality of the prints themselves. High priced works by contemporary photographers such as Bernd and Hilla Becher, Wolfgang Tillmans and Cindy Sherman are also featured in our Contemporary Art auctions. For collectors looking to purchase curated artistic works, our auctions are a unique opportunity to acquire one of a kind collector's items.
Are you looking to sell photographic art? Lempertz leads the way in the fine art photography sector and can look back on a long and successful tradition and years of expertise. Our valuation form is a simple way to have your questions answered, and our extensive artist database can provide you with an initial orientation.
Nowadays, masterpieces of fine art photography achieve top prices; Lempertz have continuously achieved high results in their many years of conducting auctions. For example a portrait by Hugo Erfurth showing the distinctive features of the artist Otto Dix which sold for € 25,000, or Otto Steinert's Die Bäume vor meinem Fenster II which achieved € 26,000. Heinrich Kühn's picturesque view Il Bacino di San Marco, Venezia from 1898 – a landmark of early photographic history – changed hands for € 40,000. The original colour photograph Tellaro, Italy by Luigi Ghirri achieved € 42,000. A sensitive portrait of the actress Ellen Frank by László Moholy-Nagy was sold for € 53,000 and Albert Renger-Patzsch's striking image Natterkopf from 1925, which brings the viewer face to face with the piercing eyes of a snake, achieved € 149,000.