Lithograph printed in black on medium heavy cream wove
Sheet: 499x376 mm Image: 335x253 mm
Signed in pencil lower right: Edv Munch
Woll 670 I.
Auctioned Wednesday December 12 2018 at 19:30
NOK 40,000–60,000 USD 4,700–7,100 EUR 4,100–6,200
LITERATURE: Gerd Woll: Edvard Munch – Complete Paintings, London 2009, see cat.nos. 1431 (from 1922), 1482 and 1483 (both from 1923), full-length portraits of Wilhelm Wartmann.
Gerd Woll: Edvard Munch – The complete graphic Works, Oslo 2012, cat.no. 670.
eMunch, Edvard Munch's writings, emunch.no.
Jacob Wilhelm Wartmann (1882–1970) was a Swiss art historian. He was director of Kunsthaus Zürich from 1909 to 1949.
He was very interested in Munch's art and organised large exhibitions in 1922 and 1932. An exhibition planned for 1942 had to be cancelled due to the war, but in 1952 his successor organised the third large-scale exhibition of Munch's art in Zürich.
A detailed catalogue was made by Wartmann for the exhibition in 1922, and the section on graphics which included more than 400 prints was of great help to Schiefler in his work on the second volume of his catalogue (Schiefler 1928).Schiefler examined the prints together with Wartmann. Woll 2012, p. 416.
The Swiss collector Alfred Rütschi approached Munch in May 1922 with the suggestion that he paint a portrait of the director for Kunsthaus Zürich at Rütschi's own cost (letter Rütschi/Munch May 31, 1922). Munch visited Zürich that summer in connection with the comprehensive exhibition at Kunsthaus Zürich, and used the opportunity to execute a lithograph of Wartmann (Woll 670) and, in all likelihood, the first painted version of the portrait.Luise Schiefler, who was also in Zürich together with her husband, Gustav Schiefler, wrote that Munch had indeed portrayed Wartmann (letter Luise Schiefler/die Kinder June 24, 1922 in Munch 1987-1990, vol. II, p. 74).
Eggum assumes that this catalogue entry (1431) is the version Munch painted in 1922 (Eggum 1994).
Munch visited Zürich again the following year and painted two new versions of the portrait (see cat.nos. 1483 and 1482). Woll 2009, p. 1322.
Of the paintings from 1923, Edvard Munch gave one to Wartmann (1483), and the other to Rütschi (1482). Alfred Rütschi donated the painting he had been given to Kunsthaus Zürich in 1929, where it now hangs. The other painting is from 1984 in Kunstmuseum St. Gallen. Woll 2009, p. 1363.
Edvard Munch had for a time quite a lot of contact with Wilhelm Wartmann, in the digital archive there are 37 letters/letter-drafts from him to Wartmann. From Wartmann to Edvard Munch there are 81.
The head is very similar to the lithograph in all these paintings. Woll 2012, p. 416, under cat.no. 670.