Edgar Fernhout (Dutch, 1912-1974)
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Edgar Fernhout (Dutch, 1912-1974)


Edgar Fernhout (Dutch, 1912-1974)
signed with initials and dated 'EF 32' (lower left), and signed and dated again and inscribed with title (on the reverse)
oil on canvas
50 x 50 cm.
Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker N.V., Amsterdam;
whence acquired in July 1940 through a forced sale by Field Marshall Hermann Göring;
Sale, Frederik Muller, Amsterdam, 8-9 October 1940, lot 61. Kunsthandel Martinus Liernur, The Hague.
A. Eijffinger, The Hague.
A.M. Kerkhof, The Hague.
Restituted in March 2006 to the heir of J. Goudstikker and Amsterdamse Negotiatie Compagnie N.V., formerly known as Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker N.V.
A. Plasschaert, 'E. Fernhout bij Van Lier te Amsterdam' in: Groene Amsterdammer, 31 December 1932.
A.M. Hammacher, 'Edgar Fernhout', Kroniek van Kunst en Kultuur, 10, no. 4, April 1949, p. 123-126.
Exh.cat. Relativerend Realisme, Eindhoven, Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, 1972, p. 44 (ill.)
Exh.cat. Realisme Relativisme, Brussels, Palais des Beaux Arts, 1972.
W.G. Quist, Over de Noodzaak van Beleid, afscheidscollege van Prof. W.G. Quist, 1975, p. 11 (ill.)
A. van den Berk, J. Moerbeek and J. Steen, Fernhout schilder-painter, Eindhoven 1990 , p. 25 (ill.), no. 20, p. 115.
C. Blotkamp and Y. Koopmans, Magie en Zakelijkheid, Zwolle 1990, p. 149-150.
M. Bosma, Vier Generaties. Een eeuw lang de kunstenaars familie Toorop/Fernhout, Utrecht 2001, p. 96-98.
Mieke Rijnders a.o., Edgar Fernhout. In het licht van Alassio, Arnhem 2002, no. 20, p. 159.
Amsterdam, Kunstzaal Van Lier, Werken door Edgar Fernhout, 17 December 1932-5 January 1933, no.4.
Amsterdam, Kunsthandel J. Goudstikker, Het Stilleven, 18 February - 19 March 1933, no. 100.
The Hague, Kunstzalen d'Audretsch, Edgar Fernhout, March 1934.
Rotterdam, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Tentoonstelling van 115 stillevens van 1480-1933, 1 April-24 April 1933, cat.no. 31.
Amsterdam, Kunsthandel Huinck & Scherjon, Tentoonstelling van werken door tijdgenoten, 23 March-20 April 1935, cat.no. 14.
Utrecht, Vereeniging 'Voor de Kunst', Schilderijen van Charley Toorop and Edgar Fernhout, 23 February - 15 March 1936, cat.no. 3.
Amersfoort, Zonnehof, De maaltijd der vrienden; werken van Charley Toorop, John Rädecker enz., 13 July - 29 September 1963.
Leiden, Stedelijk Museum De Lakenhal, Jan Toorop, Charley Toorop en Edgar Fernhout, 26 November 1971 - 16 January 1972, cat.no. 44.
Dordrecht, Dordrechts Museum, Jan Toorop, Charley Toorop, Edgar Fernhout, 28 January - 5 March 1972, no. 44.
Groningen, Groninger Museum, Jan Toorop, Charley Toorop, Edgar Fernhout, 11 March - 9 April 1972, no. 44.
Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, Fernhout - schilderijen 1930-1974, 20 January - 11 March 1990, no. 3.
Arnhem, Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Magie en Zakelijkheid - Realistische schilderkunst in Nederland 1925-1945, 13 November 1999 - 6 February 2000, no. 33.
Paris, Institut Néerlandais, Magie et Réalisme, 30 March - 28 May 2000, no. 19.
Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Vier Generaties, 20 October - 7 February 2001, no. 69.
Arnhem, Museum voor Moderne Kunst, Edgar Fernhout, 19 October 2002-16 February 2003, no. 10.
Special notice
Christie's charge a premium to the buyer on the final bid price of each lot sold at the following rates: 23.8% of the final bid price of each lot sold up to and including €150,000 and 14.28% of any amount in excess of €150,000. Buyers' premium is calculated on the basis of each lot individually.

Lot Essay

Edgar Fernhout's early work is often classified as 'Magical Realism'. The present lot Stilleven from 1932, justifies this classification and is one of Fernhout's most extreme paintings. On one hand it can be identified as an experiment in light and shades. But, on the other hand, it is more than just a serious study. Before he realized the present work, Fernhout painted several traditional realistic still lifes with fruit on a white or grey sheet. In Stilleven from 1932 the sheet is no longer an attribute in a still life, but has become the main subject. Thus the artist gives a new meaning to an old traditional theme. This is a still life of almost nothing. Piet Mondriaan, a good friend of Fernhout's mother, must have had a serious influence on the young artist. The simple geometrical construction of space and the white and grey shades in the present lot remember us of Mondriaan's work. Also an older artist like Wim Schuhmacher with his subtle and monochrome grey colouring might have had some influence on Fernhout. Stilleven was immediately noticed in the exhibition at Van Lier in 1933. The well-known art critic Albert Plasschaert wrote "Het beste stilleven is ongetwijfeld het gedeelte eener kamer. Daar zijn de witten gevoelig in hun verhouding; daar is ruimte en licht uitgedrukt - en het is als werk het persoonlijkst van de verzameling". Later in his career Stilleven remained one of Fernhout's favourite early works and was selected by himself for the extensive travelling exhibition in 1971-1972.

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