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    Sale 7600

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 423

    Josef Scharl (German/American, 1896-1954)

    Der Requiem-Zyklus: seven paintings and 112 drawings

    Price Realised  


    Josef Scharl (German/American, 1896-1954)
    Der Requiem-Zyklus: seven paintings and 112 drawings
    oil on canvas (7); pen and ink on card (7); pencil on paper (105)
    approx. 33 5/8 x 41 3/8 in. (85.5 x 105 cm.) and smaller
    Executed circa 1951-1952 (119)

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    In the last years of his life, Josef Scharl became increasingly ill with depression. He chose to isolate himself from the outside world and, confined to his bed, confronted various philosophical theses as well as religious writings. Despite his mental and physical state, Scharl had one of his most creative phases during these final years; the Requiem Zyklus being a prime example. Composed of seven paintings, the Zyklus was inspired by and makes reference to Mozart's liturgical Requiem, the last piece the great composer wrote. The parallels go even further; as not only were both artists sick while they created their respective works, but both also found comfort in the deep religiosity of the original liturgical text.

    As opposed to Mozart's music, which conveys the strict religiousness of the Requiem text, Scharl started from the Latin version, which he copied many times together with a German translation but then included further writings and citations by Greek philosophers and contemporary scientists. Through writing and drawing, sketching and studying his ideas became more and more abstract and ultimately evolved into the final seven paintings. Each work stands for one of the seven original liturgical texts, representing in a metaphysical and abstract way their original titles.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 15% will be added to the buyer's premium which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Prof. Dr Dr Aloys Greither, Munich.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    A. Greither, Der Requiem-Zyklus von Josef Scharl, Munich, 1971.
    A. Firmenich (ed.), Josef Scharl, Monographie und Werkverzeichnis, Cologne, 1999, nos. 43-49 (the seven oil paintings).


    New York, Galerie St. Etienne, Josef Scharl, 1959, nos. 1-7.
    Munich, Galerie Günther Franke, Josef Scharl, 1971, nos. 43-49.
    Munich, Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus, Josef Scharl, December 1982 - January 1983, nos. 42-48.
    Emden, Kunsthalle, Stiftung Henri und Eske Nannen, Josef Scharl, Eine Retrospektive, November 1999 - January 2000, nos. 519-522 & 546-548 (the seven oil paintings illustrated); this exhibition later travelled to Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Sinclair-Haus and Düren, Leopold-Hoesch-Museum.