Description & Technical information

Probably drawn from life, this striking study by Adolph Menzel may be a portrait of a particular friend or acquaintance of the artist, rather than a casual model. The likelihood that the sitter of this drawing was well-known to Menzel is further suggested by the fact that he seems to reappear in a number of other drawings by the artist.

A slightly smaller drawing of the same man, dated 1887, is among the extensive collection of works by Menzel in the Museum Georg Schäfer in Schweinfurt. Another portrait drawing of what appears to be the same man with a moustache, which like the present sheet is dated 1886, was purchased directly from Menzel by Sir Joseph Pennell in 1895 for the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia. 

Date:  1886
Period:  1850-1900, 19th century
Origin:  Germany
Medium: Carpenter’s pencil, With stumping
Dimensions: 20.8 x 12.8 cm (8¹/₄ x 5 inches)
Provenance: Anonymous sale, Berlin, Villa Grisebach, 28 May 2014, lot 227
Private collection.

Categories: Paintings, Drawings & Prints