Adolph MENZEL (Breslau 1815 - Berlin 1905)

A Woman in a Large Hat, Facing Left

Carpenter’s pencil, with stumping.
Signed and dated Menzel / 97. at the lower left.
144 x 94 mm. (5 5/8 x 3 3/4 in.)


This fine late drawing, dated 1897, is a study for a woman in the background of a partly unfinished chalk drawing by Menzel of a Café with Chess Players, which was among the contents of the artist’s studio at the time of his death, but whose current location is unknown. Depictions of young women are relatively rare among Menzel’s late drawings of the 1890s, perhaps because he felt that their faces lacked the expressive quality that he found so appealing in more elderly models. 

Among stylistically comparable late drawings by the artist is a sheet of studies of a seated woman and the head of a man, also dated 1897, in the Kupferstichkabinett in Berlin, and a drawing of a seated woman with a hat, dated 1898, which was on the German art market in 1994. Likewise similar in technique and handling are two drawings dated 1899; a study of a woman facing to the left, in the Kunsthalle in Hamburg, and a drawing of the heads of three women, formerly in the collection of Charles Ryskamp and now in the Pierpont Morgan Library in New York.

This drawing bears the collector’s mark of the Viennese financier and economist Wilhelm König (1880-1955). Advised by Alfred Stix, the director of the Albertina in Vienna, König assembled a large group of Old Master and 19th century drawings, as well as works by Egon Schiele and other contemporary Austrian artists, during the first two decades of the 20th century. Much of König’s collection, including the present sheet, was sold in the 1920s.

Wilhelm König, Vienna (Lugt 2653b), his mark on the verso
His sale, Berlin, Paul Graupe, 13-14 January 1925, lot 523 (‘Dame mit Hut. Or.-Bleistiftzeichn. Sign. u. dat. 1897. 14,5 : 9,5 cm.’)
Rorig collection, Thalhausen, until 1951
Sale, Hamburg, Dr. Ernst Hauswedell, 3 November 1951, lot 2137 (‘Frau mit großen Hut nach links blickend. Bleistiftzeichnung. 14,5 : 9,5 cm. Sign. u. dat. 1897.’) Private collection, Germany
Thence by descent until 2015
Anonymous sale, Berlin, Villa Grisebach, 25 November 2015, lot 216
Private collection.


A Woman in a Large Hat, Facing Left


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