Max Liebermann (1847 - 1935) Stevenstift in Leiden, Juli 1900 charcoal 11.5 x 19.5cm. (4 1/2 x 7 5/8 in.)

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Lot 4*
Max Liebermann (1847 - 1935) Stevenstift in Leiden, Juli 1900 charcoal 11.5 x 19.5cm. (4 1/2 x 7 5/8 in.)

Sold for £ 1,912 (US$ 2,349) inc. premium
Max Liebermann (1847 - 1935)
Stevenstift in Leiden, Juli 1900
signed M Liebermann (lower left)
charcoal on paper
11.5 x 19.5cm. (4 1/2 x 7 5/8 in.)

Footnotes

  • This work is sold with a photographic certificate of authenticity from Dr. Margaret Nouwen, dated Berlin, 21 July 2003. We are also grateful for her kind assistance with the catalogue entry.

    The present drawing is a preliminary sketch to the oil painting, Spitalgarten in Leiden - Stevenstift, painted in 1900. (Matthias Eberle: Max Liebermann - Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde und Ölstudien, Vol.II, Hirmer-Verlag, Munich. 1995/96, (Ref: 1900/16).

    One can date the present drawing quite precisely when referring to part of a letter written by Liebermann on July 24 1900, to his friend Max Lehrs:

    'I've been in Leiden for around 14 days, painting a courtyard from the days of Rembrandt - it has hardly changed'.
    (Letter to Max Lehrs, Leo Baeck Institute, New York, Arch.29[847])

    During this time, and today, one enters the long, narrow allotment through a gate on the Haarlemmerstraat. On the left hand side is a row of two storey houses. At the other side of the paved courtyard, in front of the blind wall of the neighbouring site, is a long narrow garden on a brick base. Liebermann had drawn the courtyard from this view point, with the gateway behind him, in 1889 and 1890. In the present drawing of 1900, this gateway is used as the vanishing point.

    Liebermann seems particularly interested in the structure of the house fronts, using the white paintwork of the lower part of the wall to serve as a link, and increase the running perspective. He uses his eraser to depict this white line behind the garden foliage. However, in the finished oil painting, referred to above, the artist allows the flowers and foliage to dominate this area of brickwork, using a series of sun canopies above the windows and doorways to serve as the continuous link. He also adds the figure in the doorway and the sparrows in the foreground, not present in our drawing.
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