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19th Century Art


Julius Kaskel

1802 – Dresden – 1862

Window view of Dresden. 1837

Oil on canvas. 32 × 24 cm. (12 ⅝ × 9 ½ in.) Signed and dated in the windowsill (hardly legible) lower right: J. Kaskel 1837.  [3086] Framed 

ProvenanceFormerly Private Collection, Southern Germany

EUR 5.000 – 7.000
USD 5,560 – 7,780

Sold for:
43,750 EUR (incl. premium)

Fensterblick auf Dresden

Auction 340Wednesday, 1 June 2022
03:00 PM

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A Room with a View

Windows with a view are still popular with artists today. In Dresden, Caspar David Friedrich introduced the motif of the open window into Romantic painting. In it, the Romantics found a powerful symbol for the experience of standing on the threshold between the inner and outer worlds. The juxtaposition of the close familiarity of a room and the uncertain, often idealised vision of what lies beyond was immediately recognised as a metaphor for unfulfilled longing.
Julius Kaskel belonged to the important Jewish banking family Kaskel in Dresden, from whose banking house the Dresdner Bank emerged in 1872. Together with his brother Karl Kaskel (1798-1874), he managed the bank's business for many years. In the mid-19th century, their family was considered one of the most important and influential in the residential city. Extremely interested in music and art, the Kaskels often invited people to salon evenings and kept an open house. Along with the Dresden Court, their addresses were the most important places of cultural life and exchange in Dresden in those years. They were friends with Clara and Robert Schumann, Gottfried Semper and the writer Wolf Graf von Baudissin, among others.
On 11 June 1832, Julius Kaskel bought the "Antons" estate, picturesquely situated on the Elbe not far from Dresden, at an auction for his father. (The father himself, as a Jew, had not been able to purchase the property according to the law of the time, but his son, who had been baptised a Christian, was.)
This new acquisition of land seems to have been the occasion for the present painting. In terms of motif, it is an invention of the Dresden painter Traugott Faber, whose picture Kaskel certainly used directly or indirectly as a model.
Faber's painting had been created a few years earlier and presented at the Dresden Academy Exhibition in 1823 under the title "Aussicht auf Dresden, aus einem Fenster des sogenannten Antonschen Garten-Grundstückes an der Elbe". This outstanding, romantic view of Dresden was acquired by the Dresden State Art Collections from private ownership via the art trade in 2010. Since then, the painting can be admired in the exhibition rooms of the Albertinum.
Kaskel adds a red curtain to his view, but captures the glistening evening light over the city and the river brilliantly, as it were, and thus develops a suggestive power that magically captivates the viewer. The picture shows a view from a dormer window of the estate across the estate to the wide Elbe meadows and the city skyline of Dresden. The striking dome of the famous Church of Our Lady and the arches of the Augustus Bridge, which connects the Old Town and the New Town, are well known to the viewer. But the white façade of the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery) reflected in the river on the so-called Brühlsche Terrasse is particularly eye-catching - a focal point of the artist with special relevance, since the annual exhibitions of the Dresden Art Academy took place here. Claudia Maria Müller

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