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Oriental fascination in German art auction: €30.000 for two harem ladies at Ketterer Kunst
Ferdinand Max Bredt - Muße der Odalisken. Oil on firm cardboard, late 19th century. 50 x 79,5 cm (19.6 x 31.2 in). Estimate: € 30.000-40.000.

MUNICH.- With Ferdinand Max Bredt’s oil painting ”Muße der Odalisken” (Leisure of the Odalisques) a masterpiece of oriental painting will be called up at Ketterer Kunst in Munich on 26 April, 2012.

A harem lady should be dressed chastely and by no means tantalizing. Despite the two odalisques’ ostensible innocence, the Leipzig painter Ferdinand Max Bredt masterly manages to animate the observer’s imagination just through the look of the reclined lady. The estimate for the work from the late 19th century is at € 30.000-40.000

While Edmund Herger’s oil painting ”Landsknechte verteilen Beutestücke” (Lansquenets Dividing the Loot) from 1882, estimated at € 40.000-60.000 is in strong contrast to the lovely scene, Franz von Stuck’s bronze ”Adam und Eva” obviously seeks to seduce the observer, as the artist rendered the biblical scene as an erotic theme. To Adam, Eve’s promising body is the actual object of desire and the apple, the forbidden fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil merely serves as a metaphor. The observer is also seduced: Both the bodies’ athletic and sensual forms but also the modest estimate of € 30.000-50.000 will have the desired effect.

Quite a contrast to the sinful and lascivious Eve is Stuck’s ”Amazon” cast in bronze. In this work the artist put less of an emphasis on eroticism but rather on the athletic aspect of the spear-throwing warrior. Despite her nudity, she emanates power, self-confidence and pride in a very natural manner. The estimate for the small work, a monumental execution has been adorning the portal of the Villa Stuck in Munich since 1936, is at € 14.000-18.000.

More exciting works in the section of Art of the 19th Century come from Hermann Corrodi with his oil painting ”Nächtlicher Aufstieg am Berg Athos” (Nocturnal Ascension of Mount Athos) from 1880, (estimate: € 25.000-35.000), Carl Spitzweg and the ”Grotte mit badenden Nymphen” (Grotto with Bathing Nymphs, estimate: € 18.000-24.000) and from Henri-Edmond Cross with his ”Skabiosen” (Scabiosa, estimate: € 14.000-18.000). Other artists represented are, among others, Albert Flamm, Max Klinger, Adolph von Menzel, Wilhelm Schlesinger und Julius Steinkopf. The range of offers is completed by a small but nice collection of works by Friedrich Preller the Younger. Along with two drawings, half a dozen of oil paintigns with estimates between € 800 and € 8.000 will be called up.

The section of Old Masters is led by a ”Kreuzigungsgruppe” (Crucifixion Group) from the studio of Lucas Cranach the Elder. An infrared reflectography of the work from around 1510 to 1520 shows a free preliminary drawing of the motif, which is characteristic of the Cranach-studio. The oil painting in a size of 43 x 28,5 cm will be called up with an estimate of € 30.000-50.000.

The triptych ”Anbetung der Könige” (Adoration of the Kings), made in succession of Pieter I Coecke van Aelst, will definitely make for excitement in the auction room. The elaborate painting, particular in terms of the architectural staging, was made towards the end of the 16th century and has been estimated at € 20.000-30.000.

Approximately the same is expected for two companion piece of an idealized river landscape in summer by Pierre-Antoine Marchais from 1785, that have been estimated at € 12.000-15.000 each. Works by the Parisian artist, who lived in his hometown for all his life, are in possession of, among others, museums in Toulouse and Nantes.

While the oil painting ”Der Markusplatz in Venedig” (St Mark's Square in Venice), which has been ascribed to Gabriele Bella enters the race with an estimate of € 15.000-20.000, the late 17th century copy of Cristofano Allori’s masterpiece ”Judith mit dem Haupt des Holofernes” (Judith with Holofernes’ Head) will be called up with an estimate of € 18.000-24.000. The work impressively illustrates the contrast between the shiny yellow brocade gown and the anemic facial features of the decapitated. It is a striking document of the fascination that Allori’s creation had stirred in the 17th century.

The range of offerings in this section is completed by Gaspar Pieter Verbruggen’s oil painting ”Großes Blumenstillleben in einer Bronzevase” (Large Flower Still Life in Bronze Vase, estimated at € 12.000-15.000) and with, among others, graphic works by Agostino Carracci, Francisco de Goya, Giovanni Piranesi and Adriaen van Ostade.

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