Georg Scholz (1890-1945)
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's… Read more PROPERTY FROM A LONDON COLLECTION
Georg Scholz (1890-1945)

Deutsche Kleinstadt bei Tage

Details
Georg Scholz (1890-1945)
Deutsche Kleinstadt bei Tage
signed and dated 'G.Scholz 1922' (lower left)
gouache and watercolour on paper
image: 15¼ x 11¾ in. (38.9 x 30 cm.)
sheet: 20 7/8 x 16 3/8 in. (52.9 x 41.6 cm.)
Executed in 1922
Provenance
Willi Kahnheimer, Berlin until 1935 & London thereafter, by whom acquired in the 1920s-1930s, and thence by descent to the present owner.
Literature
F.H. Sternfeld, Georg Scholz 1890-1945, Monographie und Werkverzeichnis, Frankfurt, 2004, no. 234, p. 404 (illustrated p. 504; erroneously dated '1923').
Special notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Cornelia Svedman
Cornelia Svedman

Lot Essay

Kleinstadt bei Tag (Small Town by Day) is one of a series of small town caricatures that Georg Scholz produced between 1919 and 1923 in which under the guise of a clean, clear-cut and objective style of painting, he mocked the bourgeois ideal of the small German town and the pleasures and orderliness of life therein.

On his return to Germany from the Front at the end of the First World War, Scholz, tired and hungry had attempted to buy something to eat for himself and his family from a farmer living in such a community. The heartlessness of the farmer, who in response to Scholz's request had pointed the artist in the direction of his compost heap, clearly rankled, and led ultimately to the creation of Scholz's most famous work, his Industriebauern of 1920. This work in turn, was followed by a number of paintings directly critical of the selfishness and petty-minded values of the petit-bourgeois and other small-town inhabitants. Deutsche Kleinstadt bei Tag is a fully-worked watercolour study for an extremely similar oil painting of the same name that serves as a companion piece to another painting on the subject entitled Deutsche Kleinstadt bei Nacht (Sternfeld 38; Herbert Kahnheimer collection) and revealing all the evils of such a small town that emerge under the cover of darkness.

Depicting the apparently ordered, model-train-set-like world of a small town in the clear light of day, something of the sinister and criminal events taking place by night, is also clearly visible in this work. From the overt enjoyment that the fat butcher appears to take in his work to the courteous visit of the local undertaker or the old grandma hurrying to the outhouse, something too is clearly rotten in this apparently model village.

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