Horse Fair

Max Pechstein

Feria de caballos

Pechstein, Max

Zwickau, 1881 - Berlín, 1955

Horse Fair, 1910

© Pechstein Hamburg/Toekendorf, VEGAP, Madrid, 2015

Signed & dated lower right: ''HMP 1910''. Inscribed on the back: ''Pferdemarkt 1910 M. Pechstein''.
Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection on loan to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum, Madrid

Oil on canvas

70 x 81 cm

CTB.1961.16

Artwork history

  • Gurlitt Gallery, Berlin, 1923.

  • Estate of the artist, 1928

  • Nationalgalerie, Berlin, 1928-1937. Inv. n.: A II 624 (bought in May 1928, initiative of Ludwig Justi and Ludwig Thormaehlen for the Department of Moderm Painting on Prince Palace´s as part of a lot of four works of Pechstein by 2000 DEM. The work was on view on the second floor until October 30,  1936)

  • Ministerium für Volksaufklärung und Propaganda, EK n. 14138. (Seized on  July 7,  1937. July 10, 1937   the courier company Gustav Knauer transported  the work to the exhibition “Degenerate art,”  Munich. A part of works of this exhibition were derived to Berlín-Niederschönhausen deposit)

  • Deposit of  “Art works internationally usables” Schönhausen Castle, Berlin, 1938-1939.

  • Karl Buchholz, Berlin, 1939-1941. April 18, 1939 Galerie Karl Buchholz Commission, Berlin. May 1941 return.

  • Art Dealer Bernhard A. Boehmer, Güstrow, c. 1943.

  • Mr.  Edgard Horstmann, Hamburg, c. 1959

  • Roman Norbert Ketterer Collection , Hamburg, c. 1959-1961

  • Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Lugano, 1961

  • Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection

1923

Max Pechstein, Zúrich, Kunsthaus; Berna, Kunsthalle, n. 6

1949

Expressionisme: Van Gogh tot Picasso, Ámsterdam, Stedelijk Museum, n. 132

1957

Maler der "Brücke" in Dangast von 1907 bis 1912. Karl Schmidt-Rottluff, Erich Heckel, Max Pechstein, Emma Ritter, Oldenburg, Kunstverein, n. 4. (como "Pferderennen in Dangast")

1958

Brücke, 1905-1913. Eine Künstlergemeinschaft des Expressionismus, Essen, Museum Folkwang, n. 120

1959

Der junge Pechstein, Gemälde, Aquarelle und Zeichnungen, Berlín, Nationalgalerie, n. 71

1959

Triumph der Farbe. Die europäischen Fauves, Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheiligen; Berlín, Schloss Charlottenburg, n. 96

1960 - 1961

Meisterwerke des Deutschen Expressionismus, Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen; Hannover, Kunstverein; La Haya, Gemeentemuseum; Colonia, Wallraf-Richartz Museum; Zúrich, Kunsthaus Zürich, n. 145

1962

Entartete Kunst. Bildersturm vor 25 Jahren, Múnich, Haus der Kunst, n. 132

1964

Chefs-d´oeuvre des collections suisses de Manet à Picasso, Lausana, Palais de Beaulieu, n. 205

1964

Painters of the Brücke, Londres, Tate Gallery, n. 204

1966

Le Fauvisme français et les débuts de l´Expressionnisme allemand / Der französische Fauvismus und der deutsche Frühexpressionismus, París, Musée national d´art moderne; Múnich, Haus der Kunst, n. 255

1970

Europäischer Expressionismus, Múnich, Haus der Kunst, n. 128

1970

L´Expressionnisme européen, París, Musée National d'Art Moderne, n. 119

1971

Il Cavaliere Azzurro, Turín, Galleria Civica d'Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, p. 123

1972

Die Künstler der ''Brücke'', Schaffhausen, Museum zu Allerheiligen; Bonn, Rheinisches Landesmuseum, n. 152

1975

Maestri europei del XX secolo delle collezioni d´arte private ticinesi, Lugano, Villa Malpensata, n. 85

1975

Moderne Kunst aus der Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bremen, Kunsthalle Bremen, n. 66, s.p., lám.

1977 - 1978

La Collection Thyssen-Bornemisza. Tableaux modernes, Bruselas, Musée d'Ixelles, n. 66, s.p., lám

1978

Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arte moderna, Lugano, Villa Malpensata, n. 85, s.p., lám.

1978

La collection Thyssen-Bornemisza. Tableaux modernes, París, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, n. 66, s.f., lám.

1978 - 1979

Die Künstlergruppe Brücke 1905 - 1913 / Grupa ''Die Brücke'' 1905 - 1913, Breslau, Museum Narodowe, n. 32

1979

Cuno Amiet und die Maler der Brücke, Zúrich, Kunsthaus Zürich; Berlín, Brücke-Museum, 128

1980 - 1981

Expressionism. A German Intuition. 1905-1920, Nueva York (NY), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; San Francisco (CA), Museum of Modern Art, n. 209, p. 177 (lám.)

1982

Max Pechstein, Brunswich, Kunstverein and Kaiserslautern - Pfalzgalerie, p. 46, lám. p. 47

1984

Modern Masters from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Tokio, National Museum of Modern Art; Kumamoto, Kumamoto Prefectural Museum of Art, n. 25, p. 139, lám. p. 41

1984

Modern Masters from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Londres, Royal Academy of Arts, n. 85

1985

Maestri dell'arte moderna nella Collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza, Florencia, Palazzo Pitti, n. 25, p. 176, lám. p. 43

1985

Moderne Malerei aus der Sammlung Thyssen-Bornemisza, Nuremberg, Germanisches Nationalmuseum; Düsseldorf, Städtische Kunsthalle, n. 25, pp. 177-178, lám. p. 43

1985 - 1986

Maîtres Modernes de la Collection Thyssen-Bornemisza, París, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, n. 25, p. 184, lám. p. 51

1986

Maestros modernos de la Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Salas Pablo Ruiz Picasso, Biblioteca Nacional, Ministerio de Cultura; Barcelona, Palau de la Virreina, n. 25, p. 188, lám. p. 47

1989

Espressionismo. Capolavori della collezione Thyssen-Bornemisza, Lugano, Villa Favorita, n. 16, p. 50, lám. p. 51

1989 - 1990

Expressionism and Modern German Painting from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, Washington (DC), National Gallery of Art; Fort Worth (TX), Kimbell Art Museum; San Francisco (CA), San Francisco Museum of Art, n. 30, p. 82, lám. p. 83

1996 - 1997

Max Pechstein, Sein malerisches Werk, Berlín, Brücke-Museum; Tubinga, Kunsthalle Tübingen; Kiel, Kunsthalle zu Kiel, n. 40, p. 311, lám. y cubierta

1997

Capolavori dalla Collezione di Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza: 60º anniversario dell'apertura della Pinacotecca di Villa Favorita, Lugano, Villa Favorita, n. 105, p. 266, lám. p. 267

1999 - 2000

Le Fauvisme ou "l'épreuve du feu". Éruption de la modernité en Europe, París, Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, n. 136, pp. 479, 291 (lám.)

2000

Del post-impresionismo a las vanguardias. Pintura de comienzos del siglo XX en la Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Valencia, IVAM Centre Julio González, n. 31, p. 104-107, lám. p. 105, det. p. 107

2000 - 2001

La Révolte de la couleur. De l'impressionnisme aux Avant-gardes. Chefs-d'oeuvre de la Collection Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza, Bruselas, Musée d'Ixelles, n. 36, pp. 114, 116, lám. p. 115, det. p. 117

2001 - 2002

Die Brücke in Dresden. 1905-1911, Dresde, Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, n. 317, pp. 253 (lám.), 415

2005

Brücke. El nacimiento del expresionismo alemán, Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza - Fundación Caja Madrid, n. 107, lám. p. 191

2005

El naixement de l'expressionisme alemany. Brücke, Barcelona, Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya, n. 77, lám. p. 151

2005 - 2006

Brücke. Die Geburt des deutschen Expressionismus, Berlín, Brücke-Museum, n. 109, lám. p. 224

  • -Osborn, Max: Max Pechstein. Berlin 1922, lám. p. 25.

  • -Justi, L.: Von Corinth bis Klee. Berlín, 1931, lám. 62, p. 135.

  • -Lemmer, Konrad: Max Pechstein und der Beginn des Expressionismus. Leipzig,1949, lám.

  • -Buchheim, Lothar Günther: Die Künstlergemeinschaft Brücke. Gemälde, Zeichnungen, Graphik, Plastik, Dokumente. Feldafing, 1956.

  • -Myers, Bernard S.: Die Malerei des Expressionismus. Eine Generation im Aufbruch. Colonia, 1957, lám. 12, p. 129.

  • -Pechstein, Max: Max Pechstein, Erinnerungen. Mit 105 Zeichnungen des Künstlers. Reidemeister, Leopold (ed.). Wiesbaden, 1960, p. 42.

  • -Roh, Franz: Entartete Kunst: Kunstbarbarei im Dritten Reich. Hannover, Fackelträger – Verlag, 1962 , p. 140.

  • -Myers, B. S.: Expressionism. A Generation in Revolt. London, 1963, p. 142.

  • -Reidemeister, L.: Künstler der Brücke an den Moritzburger Seen 1909-1911. Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Max Pechstein. Ein Beitrag zur Geschichte der Künstlergruppe Brücke. Berlin, 1970, pp. 4 y ss.

  • -Dube, Wolf-Dieter: The Expressionists. London, 1972, p. 88, lám. 68.

  • Kiel, Hanna: The Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection of Modern Paintings. Castagnola, Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, 1974, pp. 116-118, lám. p. 117.

  • -Vogt, Paul: Expressionismus. Deutsche Malerei zwischen 1905 und 1920. Cologne 1979, lám. p. 15.

  • -Vogt, Paul (coord.): Deutscher Expressionismus 1905-1920 (Exhibition Cat.  Expressionism, A German intuition 1905-1020. [Exhib. Cat.]. New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; San Francisco, Museum of Modern Art, 1980-1981). Munich, 1981, n. 209, lám. p. 186.

  • -Max Pechstein. [Exhib. Cat.]. Braunschweig, Kunstverein; Kaiserslautern, Pfalzgalerie, 1982, lám. p. 47.

  • Dube, Wolf-Dieter: Der Expressionismus in Wort und Bild. Geneva; Stuttgart, 1983, p. 30, lám. 1.

  • -Herbert, B.: German Expressionism. Die Brücke and Der Blaue Reiter. London, Olympic Marketing Corp, 1983 , lám. X.

  • -Jähner, Horst: Künstlergruppe Brücke. Geschichte einer Gemeinschaftund das Lebenswerk ihrer Representanten. Berlín 1984, p. 310, lám. 387.

  • -Das Schicksal einer Sammlung. Aufbau und Zerstörung der Neuen Abteilung der Nationalgalerie im ehemaligen Kronprinzen-Palais Unter den Linden 1918-1945. Berlín 1988, p. 48, lám.

  • -Ketterer, Roman Norbert: Dialoge. Bildende Kunst – Kunsthandel. Stuttgart – Zurich, Belser, 1988, vol. 1, lám. p. 437.

  • Vergo, Peter: Expressionism. Masterpieces from the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. [Exhib. Cat.]. Lugano, Fondazione Thyssen-Bornemisza – Milán, Electa, 1989, n. 16, p. 50, lám.

  • -Hünlich, B: “Moritzburger Ortsmotive der ‘Künstlergruppe Brücke’. Werke von Fritz Bleyl, Erich Heckel, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner und Hermann Max Pechstein”.  Dresdener Kunstblätter. Zweimonatsschrift der Staatl. Kunstsammlungen Dresden. 1990, vol. 34, n. 6, p. 179, lám. 10.

  • -Janda, Annegret y Grabowski, Jörn (coord.): Kunst in Deutschland 1905-1937. Die verlorene Sammlung der Nationalgalerie im ehemaligen Kronprinzen-Palais, Dokumentation. (Bilderheft der Staatlichen Museen zu Berlin, vol. 70/72). Berlin, 1992, n. 409, lám. p. 181.

  • -Vergo, Peter: Twentieth-century German Painting: the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection. Londres, Sotheby’s Publications, 1992, n. 89, pp. 322-325, lám. p. 323.

  • -Künstler der “Brücke” in Moritzburg. Malerei, Zeichnung, Graphik, Plastik von Heckel, Kirchner, Pechstein, Bleyl. [Exhib. Cat.]. Museum Schloss Moritzburg, 1995, p. 69, lám. 50.

  • -Moeller, M. … [et al.]: Die großen Expressionisten. Cologne, 2000, p. 233.

  • -Die Brücke in Dresden 1905-1911. Dalbajewa, B. y Bischoff, U. (eds.). [Exhib. Cat. 2001-2002]. Cologne, Walther König – Dresde, Galerie Neue Meister, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen, 2001, pp. 253 (lám.), 415 [Sheet by Volkmar Billig]

  • -Crepaldi, Gabriele: Expresionistas. Los protagonistas, los grupos, las grandes obras. Milan, 2002, pp. 36-37, lám.

  • Colección Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza. Arnaldo, Javier (ed.). 2 vols. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2004, vol. 2, p. 362, lám p. 363 [Sheet by Peter Vergo]

  • -Brücke. El nacimiento del expresionismo alemán. Arnaldo, Javier y Moeller, Magdalena M. (eds.). [Exhib. Cat.]. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2005.

  • -Remm, Christiane: “Exteriores rurales”. Madrid 2005, pp. 173-175, cit. p. 175.

  • -Borobia, Mar y Alarcó, Paloma (eds.): Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Obras escogidas. Madrid, Fundación Colección Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2011, p. 218, lám. p. 219.

  • -Soika, Aya: Max Pechstein: Das Werkverzeichnis der Ölgemälde. Munich, Max Pechstein Urheberrechtsgemeinschaft – Hirmer, 2011, n. 1910/18, vol. I, p. 230, lám. p. 231.

  • -Alarcó, P. y Borobia, M. (eds.): Guía de la colección. Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza. Madrid, Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, 2012, p. 302, lám. p. 303.

Expert report

Pechstein spent a month in Eisenberg-Moritzburg, near Dresden, between mid-July and mid-August 1910. It was here that Horse Fair was painted, probably towards the beginning of his stay. Pechstein had joined his fellow-painters of the Brücke group, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Erich Heckel, on an excursion to what were known locally as the “Moritzburg lakes:” shallow stretches of water flanked by reeds and bushes, grouped around the 16th-century hunting lodge of the Elector Moritz of Saxony. The purpose of their expedition was two-fold: to escape the stuffy confines of the city and to find an environment in which, as Kirchner put it, they might grapple with the problem of “turning new resources to the depiction of nude figures in the open air.” Moritzburg and its surroundings offered a secluded environment in which the Brückepainters, accompanied by their girl friends and studio models, could disport themselves naked amidst shrubs and shallows, making numerous studies on the Cézannesque theme of bathers in a landscape setting. The tale of his 1910 visit Pechstein tells in his autobiography evokes vividly the atmosphere of sexual freedom, the air of licence and camaraderie that pervaded this summer sojourn by the lakes. He even relates how, on one occasion, he and his companions were caught “with their trousers down” by an uncomprehending and deeply suspicious local policeman.

Pechstein also specifically mentions the horse fair that was held five times a year in Moritzburg itself, a consequence of the proximity of a renowned local stud farm whose fame extended far beyond the confines of Saxony. The fair was held on the “vordere Platz, ” the town square, just a short distance from where the Brückepainters had rented temporary accommodation in premises once occupied by the old brewery. In his autobiography, he recalled how, in this painting, he sought to capture the “gleaming bodies of the animals” crowded on to the square and the throng of people around them. 1910 was, in any case, something of an annus mirabilis in the development of Pechstein’s art. Even so, among his works of that year, Horse Fair is surely remarkable for its confidence in the handling of form and its striking economy and concentration of pictorial means, when compared with those of his Brücke contemporaries.

In 1928, the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, which had begun to assemble an extremely important and representative collection of works by nearly all the leading Expressionist artists, purchased the picture, along with two of Pechstein’s seascapes, Stormy Sea and Two Ships at Königsberg. Horse Fair continued to be exhibited in the former Kronprinzenpalais-the “modern wing” of the Nationalgalerie, located on Berlin’s Unter den Linden-until 1936. By this time, Pechstein, like the other members of the Brücke, had been declared a “degenerate” artist, and the following year the painting was confiscated by the Nazis. It appears to have been acquired on commission by Karl Buchholz, one of a small number of dealers charged with disposing of examples of “degenerate art.” It is probably due to Buchholz’s intervention that Horse Fair survived the years of violence and persecution to become, after the Second World War, one of the best-known images of Expressionist art.

Peter Vergo