Sold with a photo-certificate from Dr. Hans K. Roethel of the Gabriele Mnter and Johannes Eicher-Stiftung, dated Mnchen, 20. Nov. 1978.
The present work was executed by Mnter soon after she first arrived in Murnau after returning from her sojourn in France. Excited by the picturesque village outside Munich, Mnter and Kandinsky asked their friends Marianne von Werefkin and Alexej Jawlensky to join them there. During the summmer of 1908 the two couples spent six weeks in Murnau and it was in the following year that Mnter bought her house at Kottmlleralle. Remembering her early years in Murnau Mnter recalled: "Die erste Studienzeit dort, im Sptsommer 1908 war ich voll von Bildern des Ortes und der Lage und warf sie hin auf Pappen von 41 x 33 cm. Immer mehr erfate mich die Klarheit und Einfachheit dieser Welt... " (Gabriele Mnter: 1877-1962 Retrospective, Munich 1992, p. 31).
The subject of this painting is the main street in Murnau. Both Kandinsky and Mnter depicted it various times from different angles(see lots 62 + 63). This particular painting bears the inscription 'Falch 08' on the reverse. 'Falch' was a stationery shop on this street, depicted as the bright blue house in the centre of the picture. Mnter carefully illustrates the individual houses with their distinct faade murals which were produced between 1906 and 1911 after designs by the Munich architect Emmanuel von Seidl.
Mnter was a keen photographer, having received a camera for her 22nd birthday in 1899, and was at this time experimenting with the same sort of close-ups that form the basis of the perspective of the present work. Her approach opposes that of Kandinsky who seems to always implement a sense of perspective and horizon with his use of the backdrop of the mountains and landscape, a technique which can be seen in Murnau-Obermarkt, his picture of the same street (Lot 63), also painted in the same summer of 1908. Mnter herself recalls: "1908 fand ich hier am Staffelsee in kurzer Sptsommerzeit bei hchstem Arbeitsschwung zu der mir gemssen Weise von Malerei." (Mnter in Das Kunstwerk, Baden-Baden, no. 2, 1948, p. 25). In 1911, she resumed writing about her time in Murnau in her diary: "I have made there [in Murnau], after a short period of agony, an immense leap forwards - from painting nature more or less impressionistically - towards feeling its inner content, towards abstracting and expressing the essence... I liked to show my works especially to Jawlensky, who advised me, and talked about 'synthesis'." 'Synthesis' was a term Jawlensky used to describe a radical simplification of form and colour in order to avoid anecdotal content.
A comparison between Hauptstrae in Murnau and Blick aus der Bonner Wohnung (Lot 64) highlights the transition she underwent in this short period of time. The interpretation of the subject-matter, and the rendering of an image in nature into art in particular have changed dramatically.