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Lot No. 526


Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller


(Vienna 1793–1865 Hinterbrühl)
The Compassionate Child (The Beggar), oil on panel, 66 x 52 cm, framed

Provenance:
Oscar Löwenstein Collection (1868–1942), Vienna/London;
Thence by descent to his widow Irma Löwenstein (1890–1975), Vienna/London;
1938 Forced sale to Maria Almas Dietrich, Munich;
Führermuseum Linz, inv. no. 100;
1945 Central Collecting Point, Munich, inv. no. 8593;
1949 Regional Finance Office, Berlin;
On loan from the Federal Republic of Germany to the German Historical Museum, Berlin and the Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal.
2019 Restitution to the heirs of Oscar and Irma Löwenstein.
The painting is being sold for the benefit of the “sight loss charity” of the Vision Foundation, UK.

Exhibited:
1859, Academic Exhibition, Vienna, no. 95;
1865, Austrian Art Association, Vienna, no. 31 (“The Little Almsgiver”);
1877, Historical Art Exhibition Vienna, no. 2925; 1898, Jubilee Exhibition Künstlerhaus Vienna, no. 105 (“Almosen”).

Catalogued and illustrated in:
Bruno Grimschitz, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Salzburg 1957, p. 359, no. 900; Friedrich von Boetticher, Malerwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts, Hofheim am Taunus 1979, vol. II, 2, p. 9970, no. 140 (wrong provenance);
Rupert Feuchtmüller, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Leben, Schriften, Werk, Vienna 1996, p. 516, no. 981.

Künstlerhaus label 1898, 4150 confirmed by Mag. Paul Rachler.

In the genre painting „Compassionate Child“, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller succeeds in exploring the various facets of human empathy in what appears to be an everyday scene.
A mother with her two small children has stepped out of the sunlit entrance of a simple homestead. She is carrying the younger one in her arms, the older child, about four years old, takes a few steps forward and hands a bread roll to an old beggar who carries a heavy sack and is leaning down towards him. The child‘s and the beggar‘s eyes meet and we catch an intense, completely undisguised expression of compassion in the child‘s face. The scene is all the more moving given the charitable child’s own apparent poverty - the plaster of the thick house wall is crumbling, only a small box window next to the door lets light into the dark interior of the house, where the promising glow of the fire can be perceived at the back of the cooker, on which a pot simmers. Mother and children are dressed in simple shirts and blue aprons and are all barefoot. Nevertheless, their clothes shine in the primary colours red, blue and yellow, which Waldmüller often uses as a triad in the garments of the simple rural population of the Vienna Woods in his later works. The brown, dull garments of the beggar are in marked contrast.
Besides the core scene that takes place between the beggar and the child, the mother‘s face also attracts our gaze. Her features are less clear, they wear a compassionate but at the same time questioning expression. As an adult, she seems to have inhibitions about showing her compassion as unfeignedly as her child. She seems to be aware that although the bread roll satisfies his hunger, it is no lasting help for the beggar. Through her, Waldmüller also succeeds in raising the theme of compassion beyond the individual case to a more general level.
The younger sibling on the mother‘s arm reenacts the scene for herself by breaking a piece of bread in half with her hands. This seems like an appeal to the viewer to do the same. In this way, the lush rosebush growing out of the barren ground on the right can also be read as a final metaphor that human warmth can blossom even under the harshest conditions.

The present lot was in the extensive collection of Irma and Oscar Löwenstein, the founder and publisher of the liberal newspaper „Neues Wiener Journal“, founded in 1893 and lasting until 1938. A historical photo of the Löwensteins‘ dining room shows „The Good-Natured Child“ on the left wall. Under National Socialist rule, the couple, persecuted as „Jews“, were forced to declare all their assets to the authorities, which included three paintings from the hand of Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Before emigrating, the Löwenstein couple sold these three works under duress in the summer of 1938 to the Munich art dealer Maria Almas-Dietrich. They later passed to the special order in Linz - the Führer Museum planned by Adolf Hitler. The Löwenstein couple managed to escape to Great Britain in the same year, where Oscar Löwenstein died during the war. After the Anschluss in 1938, the Jewish staff and international correspondents of the Neues Wiener Journal were dismissed. The newspaper continued to appear under National Socialist control until the end of January 1939, when it was merged with the Neue Freie Presse and the Neue Wiener Tagblatt. In 2019, the works were finally restituted to the heirs of Oscar and Irma Löwenstein after many years on loan to German Federal Museums. „The Vintage Festival“ and „The Visit of the Grandparents“ were already successfully auctioned at Dorotheum in November 2020, and „The Good-Natured Child“ is now the third to be auctioned on behalf of the heirs. (KN)

Specialist: Mag. Dimitra Reimüller Mag. Dimitra Reimüller
+43-1-515 60-355

19c.paintings@dorotheum.at

07.06.2021 - 16:00

Realized price: **
EUR 296,100.-
Estimate:
EUR 150,000.- to EUR 200,000.-

Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller


(Vienna 1793–1865 Hinterbrühl)
The Compassionate Child (The Beggar), oil on panel, 66 x 52 cm, framed

Provenance:
Oscar Löwenstein Collection (1868–1942), Vienna/London;
Thence by descent to his widow Irma Löwenstein (1890–1975), Vienna/London;
1938 Forced sale to Maria Almas Dietrich, Munich;
Führermuseum Linz, inv. no. 100;
1945 Central Collecting Point, Munich, inv. no. 8593;
1949 Regional Finance Office, Berlin;
On loan from the Federal Republic of Germany to the German Historical Museum, Berlin and the Von der Heydt Museum, Wuppertal.
2019 Restitution to the heirs of Oscar and Irma Löwenstein.
The painting is being sold for the benefit of the “sight loss charity” of the Vision Foundation, UK.

Exhibited:
1859, Academic Exhibition, Vienna, no. 95;
1865, Austrian Art Association, Vienna, no. 31 (“The Little Almsgiver”);
1877, Historical Art Exhibition Vienna, no. 2925; 1898, Jubilee Exhibition Künstlerhaus Vienna, no. 105 (“Almosen”).

Catalogued and illustrated in:
Bruno Grimschitz, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Salzburg 1957, p. 359, no. 900; Friedrich von Boetticher, Malerwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts, Hofheim am Taunus 1979, vol. II, 2, p. 9970, no. 140 (wrong provenance);
Rupert Feuchtmüller, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Leben, Schriften, Werk, Vienna 1996, p. 516, no. 981.

Künstlerhaus label 1898, 4150 confirmed by Mag. Paul Rachler.

In the genre painting „Compassionate Child“, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller succeeds in exploring the various facets of human empathy in what appears to be an everyday scene.
A mother with her two small children has stepped out of the sunlit entrance of a simple homestead. She is carrying the younger one in her arms, the older child, about four years old, takes a few steps forward and hands a bread roll to an old beggar who carries a heavy sack and is leaning down towards him. The child‘s and the beggar‘s eyes meet and we catch an intense, completely undisguised expression of compassion in the child‘s face. The scene is all the more moving given the charitable child’s own apparent poverty - the plaster of the thick house wall is crumbling, only a small box window next to the door lets light into the dark interior of the house, where the promising glow of the fire can be perceived at the back of the cooker, on which a pot simmers. Mother and children are dressed in simple shirts and blue aprons and are all barefoot. Nevertheless, their clothes shine in the primary colours red, blue and yellow, which Waldmüller often uses as a triad in the garments of the simple rural population of the Vienna Woods in his later works. The brown, dull garments of the beggar are in marked contrast.
Besides the core scene that takes place between the beggar and the child, the mother‘s face also attracts our gaze. Her features are less clear, they wear a compassionate but at the same time questioning expression. As an adult, she seems to have inhibitions about showing her compassion as unfeignedly as her child. She seems to be aware that although the bread roll satisfies his hunger, it is no lasting help for the beggar. Through her, Waldmüller also succeeds in raising the theme of compassion beyond the individual case to a more general level.
The younger sibling on the mother‘s arm reenacts the scene for herself by breaking a piece of bread in half with her hands. This seems like an appeal to the viewer to do the same. In this way, the lush rosebush growing out of the barren ground on the right can also be read as a final metaphor that human warmth can blossom even under the harshest conditions.

The present lot was in the extensive collection of Irma and Oscar Löwenstein, the founder and publisher of the liberal newspaper „Neues Wiener Journal“, founded in 1893 and lasting until 1938. A historical photo of the Löwensteins‘ dining room shows „The Good-Natured Child“ on the left wall. Under National Socialist rule, the couple, persecuted as „Jews“, were forced to declare all their assets to the authorities, which included three paintings from the hand of Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller. Before emigrating, the Löwenstein couple sold these three works under duress in the summer of 1938 to the Munich art dealer Maria Almas-Dietrich. They later passed to the special order in Linz - the Führer Museum planned by Adolf Hitler. The Löwenstein couple managed to escape to Great Britain in the same year, where Oscar Löwenstein died during the war. After the Anschluss in 1938, the Jewish staff and international correspondents of the Neues Wiener Journal were dismissed. The newspaper continued to appear under National Socialist control until the end of January 1939, when it was merged with the Neue Freie Presse and the Neue Wiener Tagblatt. In 2019, the works were finally restituted to the heirs of Oscar and Irma Löwenstein after many years on loan to German Federal Museums. „The Vintage Festival“ and „The Visit of the Grandparents“ were already successfully auctioned at Dorotheum in November 2020, and „The Good-Natured Child“ is now the third to be auctioned on behalf of the heirs. (KN)

Specialist: Mag. Dimitra Reimüller Mag. Dimitra Reimüller
+43-1-515 60-355

19c.paintings@dorotheum.at


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
kundendienst@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 200
Auction: 19th Century Paintings
Date: 07.06.2021 - 16:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 29.05. - 07.06.2021


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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