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    Sale 7600

    Impressionist and Modern Art Day Sale

    25 June 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 455

    Walter Gramatté (German, 1897-1929)

    Der Mann im Schlitten

    Price Realised  


    Walter Gramatté (German, 1897-1929)
    Der Mann im Schlitten
    signed with the initials and dated 'W.G 20' (in the centre); signed, dated and inscribed '"Der Mann im Schlitten".Walter Gramatté 19/20' (on the reverse); signed and inscribed 'Walter Gramatté.Berlin W15. EMSERSTR 19/20 "Der Mann im Schlitten." [twice]' (on the stretcher)
    oil on canvas
    45½ x 43½ in. (115.7 x 110.5 cm.)
    Painted in 1920

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    This painting has been requested for the exhibition Rediscovered: Expressionist Walter Gramatté (1897 - 1929) to be held at Davos, Kirchner Museum from June to October 2008, then travelling to Ernst Barlach Haus, Hamburg, from October 2008 to January 2009.

    Walter Gramatté, who died at the early age of 32, produced an oeuvre of only 123 paintings of which only 96 - according to Ferdinand Eckhardt, the author of the first 1932 Gramatté catalogue raisonné - have survived. Gramatté was friends with the Brücke artists Erich Heckel and Karl Schmidt-Rottluff and moved into Beckmann's studio in Berlin in 1921.A gifted print-maker he created a series of etchings for Georg Büchner's Lenz in 1924. His main dealer and patron was Ferdinand Moeller in Berlin. In 1929, the year of his early death, Gramatté's tombstone was designed by Karl Schmidt-Rottluff.

    In his entry to the catalogue raisonné, published in 1994, the editor Claus Pese finds appropriate words for the young Berlin artist: 'Walter Gramatté's short life was a life of roving. He roved the souls of the people he met, of the cities in which he lived, of the landscapes which fascinated him and above all his own innermost soul... Walter Gramatté's place is on the shaded side of life. He is incapable of emerging from the darkness into the light. He is obliged to depict the darkness, using the artistic means at his disposal'. Gramatté belongs to the so-called school of Magic Realism of the late 1910s and early 1920s. 'In contrast to Expressionism, Magic Realism was not trying to create a new image of man. Rather it sought an inward view, the portrayal of human beings irrespective of the external circumstances. This detachment from the actualities of life is, to be sure, on the one hand illusory; on the other, however, it sweeps the way clear of distracting influences, so as to make possible a direct look at the soul and its interior' (C. Pese & R. Negendanck, op. cit., Cologne, 1994).

    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.


    Paul and Martha Rauert, Hamburg.
    Eckhardt Collection, Winnipeg, until 1988.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.
    On loan to the Germanisches Nationalmuseum, Nuremberg, since 1995.

    Pre-Lot Text



    A. Graf von Brockdorff, 'Gedanken über Walter Gramatté', in Die Rote Erde, vol. II, Book I, Hamburg, 1922, p. 173 (illustrated).
    F. Eckhardt, Walter Gramatté. Paintings and Watercolors, Winnipeg, 1981 (illustrated).
    C. Pese & R. Negendanck, Walter Gramatté. Eine Dokumentation in Bildern und Texten, Stuttgart/Zurich, 1990 (illustrated p. 121).
    C. Pese & R. Negendanck, Walter Gramatté, 1897-1929, Werkverzeichnis der Ölgemälde, Cologne, 1994, no. 71 (illustrated p. 117).


    Berlin, Galerie Ferdinand Möller, Walter Gramatté, 1920, no. 14.
    Hamburg, Kunstverein, Walter Gramatté. Gedächtnisausstellung, 1932, no. 5.
    Ottawa, The National Gallery of Cananda, Walter Gramatté, 1897-1929. Paintings, Drawings, Prints, 1966, no. 4 (illustrated p. 33).
    Berlin, Brücke-Museum, Walter Gramatté, 1897-1929. Bilder, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen, Graphik, 1968, no. 5 (illustrated p. 25).
    Winnipeg, Art Gallery, The Eckhardts in Winnipeg. A Cultural Legacy, 1987, no. 7 (illustrated p. 47).
    Altenburg, Lindenau-Museum, Internationale Sprachen der Kunst: Gemälde, Zeichnungen und Skulpturen der Klassischen Moderne aus der Sammlung Hoh, August - October 1998, no. 30 (illustrated p. 91); this exhibition later travelled to Osnabrück, Kulturgeschichtliches Museum Felix-Nussbaum-Haus, Dortmund, Museum am Ostwall and Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum.
    Karlsruhe, Städtische Galerie, Die 20er Jahre in Karlsruhe, December 2005 - March 2006 (illustrated p. 195).
    Würzburg, Museum im Kulturspeicher, Liebe. Love - PAARE, October 2007 - February 2008 (illustrated p. 53 and on the cover); this exhibition later travelled to Hamm, Gustav-Lübcke-Museum and Ulm, Ulmer Museum.