Dr Carl Hagemann, Frankfurt, by whom acquired in directly from the artist in 1916, and thence by descent to the present owner.
PROPERTY FROM THE COLLECTION OF CARL HAGEMANN
Dr Carl Hagemann was born in Essen on 9 April 1867. After studying chemistry in Tübingen, Hannover and then Leipzig, Hagemann began his professional life at Bayer & Co. in Elberfeld (today Bayer Leverkusen). Thanks to royalties from several patents Hagemann swiftly made his fortune and started collecting art as early as 1903, turning his attention to German Expressionism a decade later when he purchased his first works by Emil Nolde. Hagemann had met Ernst Gosebruch, the Director of the Kunstmuseum Essen, a few years earlier and the two men were to become lifelong friends. It was Gosebruch who, together with Karl Ernst Osthaus, the founder of the Museum Folkwang in Essen, and Kirchner's great friend the art historian Botho Graef, introduced Hagemann to Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel, and later to Otto Müller and Karl Schmidt- Rottluff. Hagemann corresponded regularly with these artists, especially with Kirchner, to whom he made regular payments in return for his choice of pictures and prints. Hagemann was a regular visitor to Kirchner in Davos and maintained a lifelong friendship, not, according to contemporaries, an easy task with an artist who was highly sensitive and difficult at this stage of his life. One cannot imagine two more contrasting personalities; the troubled, bohemian artist and the rather formal chemist and businessman. This personal and prolonged contact with the artists themselves was a major factor in Hagemann’s success in creating such a coherent and cohesive collection. At the time Hagemann was collecting these artists, few had attained the recognition they eventually would and the bold avant-garde nature of his collection seems surprisingly at odds with his understated, retiring nature. There is no doubt that Hagemann's vision and philanthropy in nurturing and supporting these artists, together with his influential position within the art establishment both in Essen and Frankfurt, in no small way contributed to the growing reputation of these artists, and throughout the 1920s and 1930s he showed an extraordinary willingness to loan major works from his collection.
Carl Hagemann retired in 1932, a year before his friend Gosebruch had to abandon his position at the Museum Folkwang, under pressure from the Nazi party. Hagemann’s plans to donate his collection to a public museum had to be abandoned due to the cultural policies of the Nazis, and when Hagemann died on 20 November 1940, his entire collection (some 90 paintings, 220 watercolours, 30 sculptures and 1500 drawings and prints) was concealed from the Nazis in the vaults of the Städel Museum in Frankfurt at the suggestion of Ernst Holzinger, the then Director. The Hagemann collection survived the war intact and emerged to be exhibited at the Städel in 1948. Since then many of the outstanding works in the collection, including the works offered in this sale, have been loaned to major public collections in Germany and works from the Hagemann Collection continue to be celebrated and enjoyed in the context in which Dr Hagemann originally intended, most recently returning to the Städel in Frankfurt in late 2004 before travelling on to the Museum Folkwang, Essen.
D.E. Gordon, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Cambridge, MA, 1968, no. 469, p. 335 (illustrated).
H. Delfs, M.A. von Lüttichau & R. Scotti, eds., Kirchner, Schmidt-Rottluff, Nolde, Nay… Briefe an den Sammler und Mäzen Carl Hagemann, 1906-1940, Ostfildern, 2004, pp. 65, 77-79, 110-111 & 145-147.
Bad Homburg, Kurhaus, Deutsche Bildniskunst von Cranach bis Dix: 1530-1930, June - July 1931, no. 39 (titled 'Landschaft').
On loan to the Städel Museum, Frankfurt, 1940-2015.