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    Sale 2237

    The Scholars Eye: Property from the Julius Held Collection Part I

    27 January 2009, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 62

    Lovis Corinth (Tapiau 1858-1925 Zandvoort)

    Self Portrait with a Black Hat

    Price Realised  

    Lovis Corinth (Tapiau 1858-1925 Zandvoort)
    Self Portrait with a Black Hat
    signed and dated 'Lovis Corinth, 1912, February' (upper right)
    oil on canvas
    19¾ x 14¾ in. (50.2 x 37.5 cm.)


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    This incisive self-portrait was painted at one of the darkest moments of Lovis Corinth's career. In 1911, Corinth suffered a severe stroke which partially paralyzed the left half of his body. This is the first work he painted upon his return to the studio. Corinth's struggle to regain his mastery of his artistic tools is palpable, as is both the mental and physical pain he struggled with. The confidence and polish that exude from his works of the first decade of the twentieth century is somewhat lost in the wake of his stroke and the viewer senses the artist's struggle with his brush; brush strokes loaded with heavy paint fill the canvas and lend a sense of immediacy to this self-portrait. It was in the years after his stroke that Corinth created many of his masterpieces. He died in 1925 in Zaandvoort, The Netherlands. Having recognized his own failing health, he was en route to a final view of Rembrandt and Frans Hals' masterpieces, artists who he felt reflected and influenced his own style.

    In December 1948, Julius Held sent a letter to a number of the well-respected curators in the United States, pleading the case of Lovis Corinth. As a contemporary of Emile Nolde and Max Beckmann, he had been granted a memorial exhibition in almost every major German city after his death; almost 25 years later and after the horrors of World War II, not a single American institution owned a work by him. Held had met Corinth's widow and son, who had moved to the United States in 1939, and were storing his amazing Crucifixions and Walchensee landscapes in a small storage site 'in a dingy warehouse in Harlem'. Held received the support of such luminaries as Erwin Panofsky and Fiske Kimbell, and created a sponsoring committee including Meyer Schapiro and Alfred Einstein. The retrospective was held in 1950 at ten institutions from Boston to San Francisco, and the catalogue to the exhibit included a forward by Held. It was the same year of this, Corinth's first major American retrospective, that Mrs. Corinth gifted this intense and moving self-portrait to Professor Held.

    Provenance

    Mrs. Charlotte Berend-Corinth, by whom gifted to Prof. Julius S. Held, 1950.


    Literature

    A. Kuhn, Lovis Corinth, Berlin, 1925, p. 107, pl. v.
    l. Justi, Lovis Corinth, in Kunstwanderer, X, July 1928, pp. 465-468, illustrated.
    B. Werner, 'Lovis Corinth (1858-1925)', Die Grossen Deutschen 4, Berlin, 1934, pp. 427-28.
    G. van der Osten, Lovis Corinth, Munich, 1955, p. 158, illustrated p. 112.
    C. Berend-Corinth, Die Gemälde von Lovis Corinth, Munich, 1958, p. 124-5, no. 546, ill. p. 583.
    M. Frick, Lovis Corinth, Berlin, 1976, p. 15.
    The Bulletin of the Cleveland Museum of Art, December 1983, p. 424.
    H. Uhr, Lovis Corinth, Berkeley, 1990. p. 195, fig. 115.


    Exhibited

    Berlin, Berliner Sezession, Lovis Corinth: Katalog der Aussetellung des Lebenswerkes, 19 January - 2 February 1913, no. 224
    Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Lovis Corinth, 1923, no. 111.
    Zurich, Kunsthaus, Ausstellung Lovis Corinth, 10 May - 29 June 1924, no. 26.
    Bern, Kunsthaus, September - October 1924, no. 14.
    Frankfurt, Kunstverein, 1926, no. 36.
    Dusseldorf, Kunstverein fur das Rheinland und Westfalen, 1926, no. 29.
    Kunstverein Kassel, 1926, no. 39.
    Berlin, Nationalgalerie, Lovis Corinth: Austellung Gemalden und Aquarellen von Seinem Gedächtnts, January - February 1926, no. 212, pl. 1.
    Weisbaden, Nass. Kunstverein, 1926, no. 16.
    Mülhausen, September - October 1927, no. 1.
    Dresden, Sächs. Kunstverein, 1927, no. 68.
    Zurich, Kunsthaus, 1933, no. 16.
    Basel, Kunsthalle, Lovis Corinth, 14 March - 13 April 1936, no. 31.
    New York, Galerie St. Etienne, Lovis Corinth: Paintings, Drawings, Prints, 26 May - 3 July 1943, no. 1.
    Boston, Museum of Fine Arts, European Masters of Our Time, 10 October - 17 November 1957, no. 27, ill. p. 45.
    Wolfsburg, Stadhalle, Lovis Corinth: Gedächtnisausstellung zur Frier des Kundertsten Geburts Jahres, 4 May - 15 June 1958, no. 108, pl. 14.
    Munich, Galerie Wolfgang Gurlitt, Lovis Corinth: Zur Feierschines hundertsten Geburtstages, 7 July - 17 August 1958.
    London, Tate Gallery, Lovis Corinth: an exhibition of paintings, 9 January - 15 February 1959, no. 36, pl. 14.
    New York, Allan Framkin Gallery, Portraits by Lovis Corinth, December 1963.
    New York, Gallery of Modern Art, Lovis Corinth: A retrospective exhibition, 22 September - 1 November 1964, no. 34.
    Williamstown, Sterling and Francine Clark Art Museum, on extended loan. Metropolitan Museum, on extended loan.
    Providence, Rhode Island school of Design Museum, on extended loan.
    New York, Salander O'Reilly Galleries, Barnard Collects: The Educated Eye, 28 September - 31 October 1989, pl. 7.
    St. Louis, St. Louis Museum of Art, Lovis Corinth, 14 November 1996 - 26 January 1997; also Tate Gallery, London, 20 February - 4 May 1997.
    Hamburg, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Ich, Lovis Corinth: die Selbstbildnisse, 19 November 2004 - 6 March 2005, no. 17.