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    Sale 7741

    Orientalist Art

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 32

    Eugen Felix Prosper Bracht (Swiss, 1842-1921)

    Rast in der Araba (Peträisches Arabien)

    Price Realised  


    Eugen Felix Prosper Bracht (Swiss, 1842-1921)
    Rast in der Araba (Peträisches Arabien)
    signed, inscribed and dated 'Eugen Bracht./Berlin.1883' (lower right)
    oil on canvas
    46½ x 78¾ (118 x 200 cm.)
    Painted in Berlin in 1883.

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    Eugen Bracht moved to Darmstadt with his parents, at the age of 8, and soon after started his studies under the tutelage of the artists Friedrich Frisch and Karl Ludwig Seeger. Bracht's work at 17 was mature and keenly executed; it made a deep impression on the famous landscape artist Johann Wilhelm Schirmer who invited him to visit the Academy in Karlsruhe.

    In 1860, the year before he started at the Academy in Düsseldorf, he spent a summer painting in the Black forrest with fellow artists Emil Lugo and Hans Thoma. At the Academy he studied under Hans Gude who, after the completion of his studies, allowed him the use of his studio. In pursuit of a successful career Bracht left Düsseldorf and moved to Berlin in 1864. His success was marginal and after a long and tumultuous period he returned to his teacher Gude who had moved to Karlsruhe in 1876. This proved a turning point in his career.

    With his empty landscapes portraying the coast of the Baltic and the heath fields of Lüneburg, Bracht struck a cord with the art critics who praised his work, labelling it as 'atmospheric loneliness' (Stimmungsvolle Einsamkeit).

    In 1880 - 1881 Bracht made a journey to the Middle East, visiting Syria, Palastine and Egypt. Inspired by the exotic images and the rich and foreign cultures, he created some of his best works, most notably Die Abenddämmerung am Toten Meer which is in the collection of the National Gallery in Berlin.

    The present lot is a monumental work with a refined and well balanced composition. Bracht used the sketches and impressions he had made during his travels to evoke the atmosphere of the desert. The warm palette, the almost tangible heat, the realism of the depiction and the impressive scale of the present lot combine to transport the spectator into the unknown and fascinating world of the desert nomad.

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    with Kunsthandlung Fritz Gurlitt, Berlin, 1884.
    A. von Bülow, thence by descent to the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    A. Lichtwark, Gurlitts Frühjahrsausstellung, in: Die Gegenwart, 1884, vol. 25, p. 222.
    M. Grosskinsky, Eugen Bracht (1842-1921): Landschaftsmaler im Wilhelminischen Kaiserreich, Darmstadt, 1992, pp. 224-225, ill.


    Berlin, Kunsthandlung Fritz Gurlitt, Frühjahrsausstellung, 1884. Darmstadt, Institut Mathildenhöhe, Eugen Bracht (1842-1921): Landschaftsmaler im wilhelminischen Kaiserreich, 20 September - 15 November 1992, cat. no. 22.