The high point of the Evening Sale of Modern Art is an atmospheric late work by Camille Pissarro from 1899 (€ 500/700,000). This is followed by an important early work by August Macke (€ 300/400,00), and one of Max Ernst’s characteristic paintings from 1954 (€ 250/350,000). Max Beckmann is represented by an early city landscape painted in 1911 (€ 200/300,000), whilst from Pechstein we have an iconic lagoon landscape scene painted in Nidden (€ 200/250,000). Renée Sintenis is present with a rare large lifetime bronze cast of Großes stehendes Fohlen (€ 150/200,000). A still life by Lovis Corinth and a harlequin by André Derain have the same estimate (€ 140/160,000), a flower watercolour by Emil Nolde lies below that at € 80/120,000, and the estimate for a painting by Maurice Vlaminck has been set at € 80/100,000. The highlight amongst the bronze works of art is Ernst Barlach’s Der Singende Mann from 1928 (€ 200/250,000).
In September 1899, Camille Pissarro withdrew for several weeks to the tranquillity of the little village of Varengeville in Normandy. This stay resulted in nine paintings, to which the present work, Verger à Varengeville avec vache (Un clos à Varengeville) belongs, with highly atmospheric motifs lit by a clouded, late-summer sun and featuring farmsteads, hedges and fruit orchards. Here Pissarro has used short, loose brushstrokes to depict the extremely varied nuances of green and brown which define this peaceful place (lot 27, € 500/700,000).
Sonniger Garten, an important work from August Macke’s early creative period was painted in 1908, a seminal and eventful year for the artist. In the spring he travelled through Italy occupying himself with early and high Renaissance art and in the summer he set out on his second journey to Paris. There he had the opportunity to see outstanding works by the Pointillists and Impressionists in the galleries of Durand-Ruel and Vollard which had heavily influenced him since his first trip to Paris in 1907. The impressionistic, atmospherically delicate style of painting made its way into his work, and our picture provides a striking testament to this (lot 8, € 300/400,000).
Max Ernst’s painting Flaneurs from the year 1954 simultaneously unites a number of extremely characteristic elements from the artist’s universe. Ernst's most deeply individual self, the ‘Vogelobrer Loplop’, as well as the forms and figures of Native American mythology – a reminder of the time he spent in Arizona – are suggested in the bird-like heads of the depicted figures. The painted surface points to Max Ernst's cherished frottage. Exhibited as early as 1955 at Ernst Beyeler, Flaneurs was part of the collection of the great Parisian gallerist for Surreal art, René Rasmussen, for a considerable time (lot 41, € 250/350,000).
In his large-format painting from 1911 painted Die Straße, Max Beckmann painted his first pure cityscape. In complete contrast to comparable works of the time, Beckmann formulates the city here as an eery stage. Hemmed in between two sheer walls of buildings, it presents itself to viewers with an oppressive emptiness, inhabited only by a small group of people in the foreground. In this important early work, Beckmann has virtuously staged a landscape, the ground and sky of which seem simultaneously full of transparency and highest density (lot 35, € 200/300,000). Beginning in 1909, Max Pechstein travelled to Nidden, a town on the Curonian Spit, a total of six times, and also in 1920, when he painted Dorfende und Wanderdüne in Nidden. At the foot of the shifting dunes, he spent productive summer months between the Baltic Sea and the lagoon. The present canvas testifies to Pechstein's unconditional will to paint, not least through the fact that it contains works on both sides – with the iconic lagoon landscape on one side and his very personal portrait of his young son Frank on the other (lot 63, € 200/250,000).
Der Singende Mann by Ernst Barlach has long been among the most sought-after sculptures of German Expressionism. On the one hand, the artist Barlach has succeeded in entirely timelessly capturing the man and his song in bronze and, on the other, he enables us to experience the sound of music in his visual art. The immense and still-enduring popularity of this masterpiece of modern sculpture may be explained not least by its joyous humanitas. The present cast from the artist's lifetime is to be seen as a rarity only seldom offered on the market (lot 61, € 200/250,000).
Renée Sintenis is one of the most important sculptors of the 20th century, and found her primary artistic theme in the horse. The exceedingly rare lifetime cast of her almost life-size, 102cm high standing foal from 1932 is from the important collection of Adalbert and Thilda Colsman (lot 51, € 150/200,000). The tablecloth accentuated with broad brushstrokes, the plate painted in a luminescent blue and the loosely suggested curtain in the background set the stage for a still life by Lovis Corinth that displays the utmost mastery of painting. The opulent composition with a pineapple and pomegranates allows us to recognise the commencement of the painter's theatrical still lifes, which form the undisputed highlight of his painting in the 1910s and 1920s (lot 56, € 140/160,000). André Derain’sArlequin tenant une guitare was painted in around 1930. The Harlequin is neither wearing his typical chequered costume nor playing music on his guitar – the narrative moment is missing. Here the playful aspect of the 1924 composition has been replaced by a contemplative, inward reflection. The reduction to just a few colours and the clarity of the figure and composition provide this harlequin with a form of classical sublimity and universality which make the work still seem extremely modern and relevant today (lot 20, € 140/160,000). Maurice de Vlaminck’s Enlèvement d'un ballon à Pontoise from 1923 is characteristic for his civilisation criticism (lot 28, € 80/100,000).
Emil Nolde is represented by three characteristic flower watercolours and two male heads from the years 1916 to 1945 (up to € 120,000), Willi Baumeister with Figurenmauer, a painting from 1946 for € 60/80,000 (lot 4), Georg Tappert with the 1917 work Drei Marien (lot 17, € 40/60,000), Modigliani with a drawing (lot 7, € 70/90,000), and Ewald Mataré with his famous bronze Stehende Kuh (Windkuh) from 1923 (lot 31, € 50/70,000).