Masterpieces of the I. Bischoff Collection

Lempertz offers the sensational Old Master Collection from the Bremen collectors H. and I. Bischoff, a collection of unparalleled importance in Germany. Only thanks to the incomparable expertise and decades of experience of the Lempertz experts can a collection of such importance be won for an exceptional auction. It is the most outstanding auction of Old Masters since Lempertz auctioned the Frank Collection in 2012 which brought not only a top result, but with 3.785 million euro for a painting by Gerard Dou, also achieved the highest result for an Old Master painting in Germany.

Twenty-three masterpieces from the collection of the entrepreneur Hinrich Bischoff (1936 – 2005), exhibited in many museums across Europe, now form the highlight of Kunsthaus Lempertz’ 175th anniversary. Artists represented in the auction include Georges de La Tour, Marinus van Reymerswale, Quinten Massys, Philips Wouwerman, Conrad Faber von Kreuznach to Edouard Vuillard and Lovis Corinth.

The highlight of the collection and of the German auction season this autumn is the last remaining privately owned “Night Picture” by the exceptional painter Georges de La Tour (1593 – 1652), the great master of Lorraine, from whom only fifty paintings are assured. His calm but also enigmatic paintings are among the “must haves” of the most important international museums. The painting “La Fillette au braisier” (“Girl Blowing on a Brazier”), painted between 1646 and 1648, was acquired by Bischoff in 1975 with an incomparably confident intuition and was presented in countless museum exhibitions throughout Europe in the years that followed, including the Grand Palais, Paris and the Museo Nacional del Prado (estimate 3 / 4 million euro).

A further gem of the sale is the picture “The Money Lender” by the Dutch painter Marinus van Reymerswale (around 1497 – 1567) – the only known painting on this theme from his hand. Originals by this eccentric and contemporarily critical artist are extremely rare. The present painting is the most significant picture by Marinus van Reymerswale offered on the international art market in the last 30 years (200,000 / 300,000 euro).

The equally rare devotional picture with a depiction of the Maria praying by Quinten Massys, the leading master in Renaissance Antwerp, is another jewel. The small panel, dated to around 1520, captivates with its quality as well as the sensitivity of the depiction, and is comparable to a devotional picture found in the Museo Nacional del Prado (500,000 / 700,000 euro).

Hinrich Bischoff was a successful entrepreneur in the aviation industry (founder of the ‘Germania Fluggesellschaft’, for example), and a passionate collector with an enormous knowledge and a much-admired connoisseurship of Dutch and German painting of the 16th and 17th century painting. Both characteristics formed the guideline of his high-carat and remarkable collection.

Lempertz has been linked to the Bischoff collectors for decades. Twenty-three high-class paintings from the collection will now be auctioned on 1st December in Cologne. In its 175th year, Lempertz thus underlines its leading position on the market for Old Masters.


Lempertz Auction 1168 : December 8,  5 pm, Lempertz Cologne

Preview (please by appointment): November 6 to 11, Cologne

From October 31 to November 2, a selection of the collection can be viewed at Lempertz in Berlin, Poststrasse 22.