A brush with… Stephen Willats
November 28, 2023
The visual thrill of the legendary filmmakers Powell and Pressburger
November 29, 2023
A brush with… Stephen Willats
November 28, 2023
The visual thrill of the legendary filmmakers Powell and Pressburger
November 29, 2023

A book of sketches by Caspar David Friedrich dating from 1804 that is due to be auctioned at Grisebach today has been proposed as a candidate for important national heritage by the state of Berlin’s cultural authorities.

Berlin’s decision does not affect the auction plans, Grisebach said. It does, however, mean that the sketchbook may not be exported while it is under consideration for registration as important national heritage. The price estimate for today’s auction is between €1m and €1.5m.

A page from the sketchbook

The sketchbook is the first ever by Friedrich to be offered for sale and the only one still known to be in a private collection, Grisebach said in a press statement. Only six of his 20 or so sketchbooks are known to have survived: four of these are in the National Museum in Oslo and another is in Dresden’s Kupferstichkabinett.

Friedrich’s friend, the portraitist Georg Friedrich Kersting, acquired the sketchbook either during the artist’s life or shortly afterwards, Grisebach said. It has remained in his family’s possession for more than 200 years.

One of the sketches in the book shows an oak tree that reemerged in three of his paintings. The book “will inspire and enrich research into the most important German romantic artist,” said Christina Grummt, the author of a catalogue raisonné of Friedrich’s drawings.

The sketchbook was shown in Zurich, New York and Berlin before the auction.

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