We are delighted to introduce two works by a painter for whom we have unique expertise: Norbertine Bresslern-Roth. We hold the world record for the most expensive oil painting ever sold at auction (Schneesturm, auctioned in 2018 for a sale price of 321.300 €, hammer price 255.000 €), and we are the leading house for works by the artist – since 2017, all her oil paintings have been auctioned off by us.
The artist from Graz was born in 1891 into a not too well-off family. However, her strong will to become a painter – and an animal painter at that – lead her to art school in her home town. She succeeded especially in the linocut technique, and became well known between the two world wars. Collectors and museums alike in the US, Canada, Australia or New Zealand bought her work. The media at the time described her as one of the most important animal painters in Europe.
She illustrated animal stories from writers such as Marie von Ebner-Eshcenbach, Gerti Egg, adventure stories from Danish author Niels Meyn and fairy tales by Hans Christian Andersen, Oscar Wilde and the Grimm brothers. She also tried her hand at writing children’s books. After WW1, she worked on illustrating school, science and nature books. Her love for the animals is always tangible in her drawings.
She also appreciated the exotic: her (only) trip into far away lands took her to Libya. She immersed herself in the oriental world, and discovered the exotic landscape and lifestyle.
The painting „Flamingos“ from 1935, which will be auctioned off on June 25th, (estimate 100.000 € – 200.000 €), is testament to her enthusiasm and love for these extraordinary animals and the exotic setting. The view onto the birds is from above, just as they might be seeing the world. It is an idealized world, in which people dream and hold a siesta on fruit-laden boats, while pink birds fly by. Bresslern-Roth shows us her strength in putting people and animals into a happy symbiosis.
The other work that is being offered is “Faraway country” from 1946 (estimate 150.000 € – 300.000 €), also displays the same unity between man (or woman) and nature. Bresslern-Roth choreographs a scene with perfect harmony. The artist uses exotic animals like parrots and a chameleon as well as – in Europe by then not anodyne – fruits like bananas and pomegranates to create a little paradise for the two girls. Sunlight that is being shielded by palm trees is drawing circles on their flawless skin. However, harm might not be far away: smoke clouds are rising up from the volcanoes in the Background. (Alexandra Markl)