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Carl Spitzweg

5th February 1808 - 23th September 1885

Carl Spitzweg was born on 5th of February in 1808 in Unterpfaffenhofen, Bavaria. Although trained as a chemist, he discovered quite early his talent for drawing and his affinity with art. Spitzweg travelled extensively during his lifetime and the impressions formed by his travels greatly influenced his work. Shortly after completing his studies in pharmaceutics in 1832, he visited Italy. It was particularly in the cities of Florence, Rome, and Naples that he discovered the many significant works of Western culture which were to leave a permanent imprint on him.

A severe case of dysentery in 1833 strengthened his resolve to abandon his career as a chemist and he proceeded to commit himself solely to his painting. In June 1835, he became a member of the Munich Art Association and travelled that same year to southern Tirol with the landscape painter Eduard Schleich, the Elder.

In 1839 he completed his first painting entitled ''The Poor Poet'. Although this recurring motif would later be considered his most well-known body of work, the painting was not accepted at this time by the jury of the Munich Art Association.

As regards his graphic production, the first publication in 1844 of his own illustrations in the Munich weekly paper 'Fliegende Blätter' is considered quite significant. His visits to the Industrial Exposition in Paris and the World's Fair exhibition in London in 1851 were his first contact with the Oriental scenes which would begin to inform his work.

To the deserving painter were bestowed numerous honours during the second half of Spitzweg's lifetime: in 1865 the Bavarian Royal Merit Order of St. Michael was conferred upon him, and in 1875 he was named an honorary member of the Academy of Fine Arts.

Carl Spitzweg died on 23th of September in 1885 and was entombed in the historic South Cemetery in Munich.

He leaves behind a body of work dedicated to the townspeople who inhibit his genre scenes, and with acute and pointed, but never ill-natured humour he portrays the everday bourgeois life of his time.

Lit: Siegfried Wichmann, Carl Spitzweg. Verzeichnis der Werke, Gemälde und Aquarelle, Stuttgart: Belser, 2002.

Carl Spitzweg

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3320
Winterauktionen 20.–21.11.2020
Spitzweg, Carl
1808 München - 1885 ebd.
«Der Alte zum Fenster hinaussehend» oder «Der Hypochonder».
Öl auf Mahagoni, sogenanntes Zigarrenbrettchen. U.r. Nachlassstempel (Rhombusstempel und Stempelsignatur, Lugt 2307). Verso maschinengeschriebene und handunterzeichnete Echtheitsbestätigung Richard Spitzwegs, des Großneffen des Künstlers, mit Nachlassstempel: «Ich bestätige, dass das umstehende Bildchen „Der Alte zum [F]enster hinaussehend“ auf Zig[ar]renbrettchen gemalt 1[4? c]m hoch, 10 cm breit, [eine] Originalarbeit meines [Groß?]onkels Carl Spitzweg ist. [Münc]hen, den 7. Februar 1924.» Retuschen.
H. 13,9, B. 10 cm. Prunkrahmen.
Die vorliegende Arbeit wird von Richard Spitzweg «Der Alte zum Fenster hinaussehend» betitelt. Fenster bilden ein bedeutendes, stets wiederkehrendes Motiv in Spitzwegs Œuvre. In den auch «Dachstubenleben» genannten Gemäldezyklen «Wo brennt’s» (WVZ Wichmann 449 - 524), «Die Dachstube» (WVZ Wichmann 470, 471) und «Der Hypochonder» (WVZ Wichmann 473 - 476) begegnen dem Betrachter ähnlich neugierige Herren, die zum Blumengießen oder zum Prüfen der Witterung die Nase aus dem Fenster hinausstrecken. Die karikierenden Züge sind teils mehr, teils weniger ausgeprägt. Der Herr mit Schlafmütze aus der Reihe «Wo brennt’s» ist wohl auf Einflüsse zurückzuführen, die Spitzweg auf seiner Paris-Reise sammelte. Der «Hypochonder» des vorliegenden Gemäldes ist weniger eine Karikatur, denn vielmehr eine Momentaufnahme. Spitzweg vermag es meisterhaft, den genauen Zeitpunkt einzufangen und wiederzugeben, in dem der Dargestellte vermutlich gerade ein verdächtiges Geräusch gehört hat, sofort zum Fenster läuft und nun nach unten auf die Straße schaut, um der Ursache nachzugehen. Der von warmem Sonnenlicht umspielte vorwitzige Alte tritt in seiner Dachstube deutlich aus dem in skizzenhafter Manier gemalten Stadthintergrund hervor.
Carl Spitzweg verwendet häufig kleine Zigarrenbrettchen als Malgrund, da sie die passende Größe haben «um sie in den Malkasten packen zu können. [...] Er hatte schon zeitig begonnen als starker Zigarrenraucher diese Bretter vorsichtig aus der Kastenform zu lösen, sie von den Papierresten zu befreien, sie nochmal mit Bimsmehl zu schleifen», um sie dann unmittelbar auf seinen Streifzügen durch Stadt und Land zu bemalen. aus: Siegfried Wichmann, Spitzweg, Zeichnungen und Skizzen, München 1985, S. 21
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Echtheitsbestätigungen: Richard Spitzweg, München, 07.02.1924; Adolf Alt, München, 07.08.1935.
Mündliche Bestätigung: Prof. Dr. Siegfried Wichmann, Starnberg, 2010.
Stellungnahme: Detlef Rosenberger, Oberostendorf, 01.06.2020.
Wir danken Herrn Detlef Rosenberger, Oberostendorf, für die wissenschaftliche Beratung, anhand des Originals.
Provenienz: Kaupp, Sulzburg, Auktion A057, 04.06.2011, Los 1704; Privatsammlung München.
Werkverzeichnis: Das Werk ist in dem in Bearbeitung befindlichen digitalen Werkverzeichnis von Detlef Rosenberger aufgeführt.

english Spitzweg, Carl
1808 Munich - 1885 ibid.
«Der Alte zum Fenster hinaussehend (the old man looking out of the window)» or «Der Hypochonder (the hypochondriac)».
Oil on mahogany, so-called cigar box board. Estate stamp (rhombus and signature stamp, Lugt 2307) lower right. Verso typewritten and hand-signed authentication by Richard Spitzweg, the artist’s great-nephew, with estate stamp: «Ich bestätige, dass das umstehende Bildchen „Der Alte zum [F]enster hinaussehend“ auf Zig[ar]renbrettchen gemalt 1[4? c]m hoch, 10 cm breit, [eine] Originalarbeit meines [Groß?]onkels Carl Spitzweg ist. [Münc]hen, den 7. Februar 1924 (I confirm that the small picture on the reverse "The old man looking out of the window" painted on a cigar box board 14 cm high, 10 cm wide, is an original work of my great-uncle Carl Spitzweg. Munich, February 7th 1924)». Retouchings.
H 13,9, W 10 cm. Elaborate frame.
The present work is titled by Richard Spitzweg «Der Alte zum Fenster hinaussehend (the old man looking out the window)». Windows are an important, recurring motif in Spitzweg’s oeuvre. In the painting cycles «Wo brennt’s (where is the fire) (Catalogue raisonné Wichmann 449 - 524)», «Die Dachstube (the attic) (Catalogue raisonné Wichmann 470, 471)» and «Der Hypochonder (the hypochondriac) (Catalogue raisonné Wichmann 473 - 476)» that are also called «Dachstubenleben (attic life)», the viewer encounters similarly curious gentlemen who stick their noses out of the window to water flowers or check the weather. The caricaturing features are partly more, partly less prominent. The gentleman with sleepyhead from the series «Wo brennt’s (where is the fire)» was probably developed through influences that Spitzweg collected on his trip to Paris. «Der Hypochonder (the hypochondriac)» in the present painting is less a caricature than a snapshot. Spitzweg is a master at capturing and reproducing the exact moment when the sitter probably heard a suspicious noise, immediately ran to the window and is now looking down onto the street to investigate the situation. The cheeky old man in his garret, surrounded by warm sunlight, clearly emerges from the city background that is painted in a sketchy manner.
Carl Spitzweg often uses small cigar box boards as painting surfaces because they have the right size «to put them in the paintbox. [...] As a heavy cigar smoker, early on he had begun to carefully remove these boards from cigar boxes. He cleared them of paper residues, sanded them again with pumice powder», to then paint them directly on his forays through towns and countries. from: Siegfried Wichmann, Spitzweg, Zeichnungen und Skizzen, Munich 1985, p. 21.
Authentications: Richard Spitzweg, Munich, 07.02.1924; Adolf Alt, Munich, 07.08.1935.
Verbal authentication: Prof. Dr. Siegfried Wichmann, Starnberg, 2010.
Statement: Detlef Rosenberger, Oberostendorf, 01.06.2020.
We would like to thank Detlef Rosenberger, Oberostendorf, for the scientific consultation, based on the original.
Provenance: Kaupp, Sulzburg, auction A057, 04.06.2011, lot 1704; private collection Munich.
Catalogue raisonné: The work is listed in the upcoming digital catalogue raisonné by Detlef Rosenberger.
 

hammer price: 31000,- EUR
(starting price: 8000,- EUR)