Adolph MENZEL (Breslau 1815 - Berlin 1905)
A Woman Wearing a Hat Sold
Pencil, with framing lines in pencil.
191 x 134 mm. (7 1/2 x 5 1/4 in.) [sheet]
Drawn with a fine pencil alongside delicate areas of stumping, the present sheet may be dated to the 1840s, a decade that marked the first significant period of Adolph Menzel’s independent artistic activity.
The first owner of this drawing was the artist’s nephew Otto Krigar-Menzel (1861-1929), who applied the Nachlass estate stamp - found on the verso of the sheet - onto those works which he retained in his possession after Menzel’s heirs had sold the bulk of the contents of his studio to the Nationalgalerie in Berlin in 1906, the year after painter’s death.
This drawing was then owned by the noted German-Jewish art dealer Walter Westfeld (1889-c.1943), who operated a gallery in Wuppertal-Eberfeld between 1920 and 1936, when he was forced to close his business by the Reich Chamber of Culture, which forbade Jews to deal in art. Westfeld was arrested in 1938 for supposed currency violations, and his collection was confiscated by the State and sold at auction in Cologne in December 19392. He was eventually sent to Theresienstadt and then to Auschwitz, where he died.
The present sheet was later acquired by the artist, art historian and museum curator Guido Josef Kern (1878-1953). Kern collaborated with Hugo von Tschudi on the first comprehensive catalogue and exhibition of Menzel’s work in 1905, and mounted an exhibition of fifty Menzel drawings at the Akademie in Berlin in 1921. As an artist, Kern was influenced by the work of Menzel and Max Liebermann.
The estate of the artist, Berlin
By descent to the artist’s nephew, Otto Krigar-Menzel, Berlin, with the Adolph Menzel Nachlass stamp (Lugt 4602) on the verso
Possibly his daughter, Ingrid Brebeck
Walter Westfeld, Wuppertal-Eberfeld, until April 1937 or shortly thereafter
Possibly the office of the Generalstaatsanwaltschaft, Düsseldorf
Possibly their sale (‘Zwangsversteigerung…aus Nichtarischem Besitz’), Cologne, Kunsthaus Mathias Lempertz, 12-13 December 1939, part of lot 2071
Guido Joseph Kern, Berlin and Wasserburg am Inn
His wife, Franziska Kern, Berlin
Sold by her in November 1942 to the Deutsche Reich for the planned Führermuseum in Linz
An unidentified stamp, with the letters H. Z. A. Wuand an eagle in a circle (probably a customs stamp: Haupt Zoll Amt Würzburg), on the verso
Held by the Federal Republic of Germany after 1945 as ‘ownerless’ property and deposited at the Veste Coburg, Coburg, Bavaria
Restituted by the German Federal government to the Westfeld heirs in 2014
Anonymous sale, London, Sotheby’s, 21 May 2015, lot 7.