Fine Art
Fine Art | Auction | 02.06.2021 | Preview: 27.05.2021 - 30.05.2021

Lot was sold

Lot 1098 | The Thoughtful Cellar Master

10.000 - 12.000 €
(incl. premium)
11.610 €

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Auction results from: Eduard von Grützner
1846 Gross Carlowitz - 1925 Munich

Title: The Thoughtful Cellar Master.
Technique: Oil on canvas.
Measurement: 44 x 36cm.
Notation: Signed and dated upper right: Ed. Grützner / 90 / (.).
Frame/Pedestal: Framed.

L. Balogh: Eduard von Grützner 1946-1925. Ein Münchener Genremaler der Gründerzeit, Mainburg 1991, p. 172, cat. rais. no. 86 with ill.

Private ownership, Germany.

Alongside Carl Spitzweg and Franz von Defregger, Eduard von Grützner is one of the most important genre painters in the second half of the 19th century in southern Germany. Eduard von Grützner, who was nicknamed the "monk painter" because of his numerous depictions of monastic life, was, according to contemporary witnesses and current research, a very sociable contemporary whose entertaining nature and cordiality were always appreciated by his friends and acquaintances, including actors, singers, fellow artists. These qualities can also be seen in his works, as the three works by Grützner offered here exemplify. With the lots, all of which are listed in László Balogh's catalogue raisonné, we can also offer three main characters within Grützner's oeuvre in this auction: Falstaff, the Cardinals and the Monastic Cellar Master. Grützner's great talent for genre is expressed in each individual work.
The pensive cellar master depicted in lot 1098 sits in an armchair with folded hands, an almost smoked-up cigar held between his lips, a large beer mug placed on the table beside him. He looks in our direction with a tired, introverted gaze. Through these narrative sequences, which only have to be put together, we are already told a whole story. Grützner's portraits of cellar masters - but also those of monks and priests - are thus genuine everyday depictions in which the protagonists' actual vices are brought to the canvas not as weaknesses but rather as sympathetic humanity.
Lot 1099 shows the literary figure of Falstaff, taken up by the artist in numerous portraits, in his usual pleasing pose with a reddish shining moon face, white curls and the typical little beard. With small brushstrokes and the traits thus created, Grützner creates an almost classical type that nevertheless confronts the viewer in a friendly manner - despite the originally negative connotations.
He portrays the "Trio in Red" (Lot 1100), which consists of three cardinals sitting at a table, in a similarly friendly - and thus approachable - manner. Grützner's clergymen come across less like strict church fathers and more like monastic brothers who, beyond their faith, are also bound by a close friendship. The cardinals differ from the other character figures from Grützner's oeuvre, which are taken up again and again, in that they are in magnificent chambers - and not in pubs, libraries or wine cellars. This is accompanied by the different shades of red of the fabrics found in the depictions of the cardinals: The purple of the men's robes, the blood red of the velvet tablecloth and the bright red of the carpet. The colours are also accentuated by the dark background, in which Grützner depicts a sophisticated interior with the courtly hunting scene typical of the artist on a tapestry. In our painting, Grützner's talent as a still-life painter is also expressed by the art objects placed in the background and the fruit bowl prominently placed in the centre of the picture.
In all three works offered here, the artist once again succeeds in living into the essence of the persons depicted, capturing the psychological moment and conveying it in his humorous way with great artistic skill across the ages.

Stefan Hörter
Fine Art
+49 221 92 58 62 202

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Conditions of this Lot

VAT margin scheme, VAT included, but must not be indicated, not refundable

29% buyer’s premium on the hammer price

Estimated shipping costs for this lot:
Germany: 42,02 Euro plus 7,98 Euro VAT
EU: 79,83 Euro plus 15,17 Euro VAT
Worldwide: 134,45 Euro plus 25,55 Euro VAT
additional shipping insurance

Stock Id: 69438-1