(Breslau 1815 - Berlin 1905)
Study of a Tree
Signed with initials A. M. at the lower right.
Inscribed Kat.1609 on the verso.
202 x 125 mm. (8 x 4 7/8 in.)
This drawing bears, on the verso, the stamp of the Königlichen National-Galerie in Berlin, founded in 1861 and the precursor of today’s Nationalgalerie of the Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin. The drawing is known to have entered the collection of the National-Galerie some time before Menzel’s death, since it was included in the museum’s catalogue of drawings, published in 1902. By the early 1930s, however, the present sheet had been deaccessioned by the museum, and it was part of a large group of drawings by Menzel, belonging to a private collection in the artist’s native city of Breslau, that was dispersed at auction in Berlin in 1932.
Among stylistically comparable drawings of trees by Menzel are two sheets still in the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, both dated 1891, as well as a study of a tree trunk in the collection of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco and another drawing of a tree, dated 1885, in the Karen B. Cohen collection, New York.
Private collection (‘Sammlung L.’), Breslau, until 1932
Their sale (‘Adolph von Menzel: Guaschen, Aquarelle, Zeichnungen der Sammlung L.- Breslau’), Berlin, Rudolph Lepke, 23 February 1932, lot 179 (‘Baumstudie’)
Private collection, Badem-Württemberg
Anonymous sale, Berlin, Villa Grisebach, 1 December 2006, lot 5
Jill Newhouse, New York, in 2007