Old Masters and 19th Century - an outstanding offer

The highlights of the offer are a painting by Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Tiepolo with an estimate of €400/450,000 and a wood panel by Philips Wouwerman for €300/350,000. Abraham Brueghel is represented by a flower and fruit still life €100/120,000, a painting by Peter Binoit – an artist rarely seen on the market – for €100/120,000, a canvas by Matthias Stomer (Stom) for €120/150,000 and a still life by Frans Snyders for €150/180,000. Among the highlights are a painting by Jacob Jordaens for €160/200,000 and a still life pair by Pieter van Schaeyenborgh for €150/200,000.

Work from the 19th century also offers a wealth of remarkable paintings. Alexander (Sándor) von Wagner stands at the pinnacle with his painting “The Return from the Hunt” from 1864 with an estimate of €250/280,000. He is followed at €220/260,000 by Jacob Philipp Hackert’s painting “Resting Farmers in the Hills above Solfatara with a View over Ischia, Procida and the Bay of Pozzuoli”. The magnificent painting "After the Ball” by Conrad Kiesel is valued at €130/140.000. Two magnificent drawings by Adolph von Menzel are at € 150/180.000 each. A very interesting canvas by another artist seldom offered on the market, Ferdinand Bellermann, is “Tropical Landscape in Venezuela with Bathers” from 1880 (€60/80,000).

The sculpture offering is also well represented with two outstanding works: A highly important early 15th century Italian processional cross, valued at €150/180,000, and a high quality Madonna and Child made in France in the second half of the 14th century, with an estimate of €80/100,000.

For Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Tiepolo, the present 56 x 42cm canvas “Interior with Capuchin Monks at the Deathbed of a Religious Brother” is an unusual theme: a monk accompanied on his deathbed by six friars in a monastery cell. Equally unusual is the picture’s colour palette of various rich brown tones – the frock of the Capuchin, one of the mendicant orders sworn to poverty whose church is Palladio’s “Il Redentore” in Venice. However, the sketchy immediacy of the rapid and virtuoso brushstrokes capturing the subject is directly recognisable as the hand of the great Venetian Settecento painter, also seen in the vivid, flickering lighting of this intimate scene. The provenance is also noteworthy: The painting was passed from the Corniani-Algarotti family to Lord George Cavendish-Bentnick (1821–1891), the passionate art lover and trustee of the British Museum (lot 2079, €400/450,000).

Philips Wouwerman was one of the most important horse painters of the Dutch baroque – but was also much more: the exceptionally fine, silvery colouring and the radiant brilliance of his colours, the highly elegant staffage with numerous small pictorial narratives and the mastery of the composition with which Wouwerman embedded the numerous figures and animals harmoniously in his – these are all qualities that far surpass the stereotype of the horse painter. The present painting is an outstanding example for all these special characteristics of the art of Wouwerman. The wood panel now offered, “Elegant Company in a Carriage by a Riverbank”, has an estimate of €300/350,000 (lot 2039). The larger-than-life canvas measuring 195 x 153 cm "Venus and Adonis" by Jacob Jordaens bares an estimate of 160/200.000 euro (lot 2045). Pieter van Schaeyenborgh's pair of paintings "Still Life with Freshwater Fish / Still Life with Saltwater Fish” distinguishes a special story. As Fred G. Meijer has stated, these two paintings by Pieter van Schaeyenborgh occupy a special place in the history of Dutch fish still lifes, owing to the fact that they are probably the only examples of the genre, whose provenance can be traced back to the time of the commission. They thus provide us with a clear picture of the paintings' original purpose. The works decorated the Provenhuis van Nordingen in Alkmaar for more than 200 years before being transferred to the Stedelijk Museum in Alkmaar in the 19th century, then returned to the Provenhuis for a time before finally being divided and sold in 1974. It was through a stroke of luck that they were reunited and today and now form a pair as originally intended (lot 2043).

The signed “Still life with Flowers and Fruits” by Abraham Brueghel has been set at €100/120,00 (lot 2050), as has a further still life by Peter Binoit. The wood panel of this 17th century artist, “Still Life with Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers, Wanli Dish and Squirrel” is one of the richest and also most precious executions in the artist’s oeuvre (lot 2029). “Still Life with Birds and A Basket of Grapes” by Frans Snyders is valued at €90/110,000. Frans Snyders was among the most sought-after and well-connected painters in Antwerp in the early 17th century. He was a pupil of Pieter Brueghel the Younger and Hendrick van Balen, an employee of Peter Paul Rubens and he himself later led an extensive workshop in which numerous well-known artists, for example Jan Fyt, were active (lot 2028). This is followed by “Landscape with Waterfall” by Jacob Isaacksz van Ruysdael (lot 2048) and a “Kitchen Interior” by David Teniers the Younger for €60/70,000 (lot 2053), whilst a further kitchen interior by Hendrick Cornelisz van Vliet has an estimate of €40/60,000 (lot 2059).

19th Century

At the top of the 19th Century catalogue is an unusual painting by Alexander (Sándor) von Wagner, “The Return from the Hunt” painted in 1864, with an estimate of €250/280,000. The 120.5 x 141 cm canvas with various pictorial motifs of a richly furnished hunting scene is a major work of the Hungarian painter which had been lost for over one hundred years. It was painted in 1864 in Munich, the city where the artist studied and later taught as professor at the academy (lot 2275). A further impressive work is Jacob Philipp Hackert’s “Resting Farmers in the Hills above Solfatara with a View over Ischia, Procida and the Bay of Pozzuoli” (lot 2201).

At € 150/180,000 each, there are two magnificent works on paper by Adolph von Menzel. The 1848 pastel "Girl on a Sofa" is probably one of the children of the Maercker family. In the 1840s and early 1850s Menzels exclusively drew and painted portraits of people close to him from his environment (lot 2287). The second work "By the Church" (In front of the church) from 1890, executed in gouache and watercolour, fascinates at first by its stupendous technique, in which Menzels' lifelong preoccupation with chalk pencils and gouache colours is brought to bear in the most beautiful way (Lot 2288).

The magnificent, virtuosic and elegant canvas "After the Ball" by Conrad Kiesel is valued at €130/140,000 (lot 2295). Kiesel was an extremely versatile artist. Kiesel was hugely successful with his depictions of graceful young ladies in richly furnished interiors, such as the present work. People appreciated what is beautiful and precious. The skill of the salon painters, including German representatives such as Conrad Kiesel, is remarkable. This exceptional work is characterised by the realistic depiction of the finely draped ball gowns, the academically trained precision of the anatomy and the subtly nuanced depiction of a snapshot in time.

“Tropical Landscape in Venezuela with Bathers” was painted in 1880 by Ferdinand Bellermann, an artist rarely seen on the art market. The artist travelled briefly to Venezuela in May 1842, helped by Friedrich Wilhelm IV and decisive as well as prominent support from Alexander von Humboldt, a former chamberlain to the king. Humboldt’s scientific standing supposedly opened a number of doors for the painter (lot 2274, €60/80,000). In his painting "Registan Square in Samarkand" Ferencz Eisenhut shows an oversized group of men in Uzbekistan (lot 2291, €120/130,000). Eugène Boudin shows in his seascape "Ships in the harbour of Trouville" for (Lot 2286, €70/90,000) and Ernst Ferdinand Oehme painted a "Mill in the Eichtal" for €80/100,000 (lot 2239).


The sculpture selection is coined by a particularly outstanding work in the form of a 23 x 19.5 cm highly important processional cross of gold and enamel on a wooden base. Worked in Italy in the early 15th century, the high-quality design is enhanced by the preciousness of the material used, with around 18–21 carats of gold making up more than half the total weight of 370 grams (lot 2131, €150/180,000).

Worked in France in the second half of the 14th century, an important 16 cm high ivory Madonna and Child with remains of colour comes from the Cologne collection of Dr Richard von Schnitzler and was exhibited at the Kölnischer Kunstverein in 1927 (lot 2117, €80/100,000). The masterpiece of ivory art – as well as the five lots that follow - was one of the highlights of the famous collection of von Schnitzler (1855–1938) who, as an equally important patron of the arts, held the chair of the Kölnischer Kunstverein and the Association of Friends of the Wallraf-Richartz-Museum in Cologne.


Auction 1160- Old Masters  - 14 November 2020, ab 11 am, Lempertz Cologne
Auction 1160 - 19th Century - 14 November 2020, 2 pm