Breslau 1815 – 1905 Berlin
Kostümstudie für das Porträt des Generalleutnants Hans Karl von Winterfeldt. 1851
Kreide, weiß gehöht, auf braunem Papier, auf Karton aufgezogen. 30,4 × 24,8 cm. (12 × 9 ¾ in.) Außerhalb der Darstellung leicht fleckig. 
ProvenienzEhemals Sammlung Dr. Gustav Rau, Stuttgart
EUR 20.000 – 30.000
USD 23,500 – 35,300
Auktion 322Mittwoch, den 2. Dezember 2020, 15.00 UhrGebot im NachverkaufLos empfehlen
Wir danken Dr. Claude Keisch, Berlin, für die Bestätigung der Authentizität der Zeichnung.
Literatur und AbbildungVersteigerungskatalog: 19th Century Continental Pictures and Drawings. London, Christie's, 21.6.1991, Kat.-Nr. 57
In May 1851, Menzel’s friend Friedrich Eggers noted in the Deutsches Kunstblatt, an art newspaper: "Berlin, April: Adolf Menzel has just finished the drawing of ‘General Winterfeld’ (sic!) for his cycle ‘Heroes of the Seven Year War’ which is to be cut in wood. One can always rest assured that Menzel will perform all tasks in this matter in a way singular and peculiar to himself. And he does this in such an accomplished way that one always believes that his latest achievement is the best one has ever seen from him. Everything is alive in this figure." From this note, the present drawing can be secure- ly dated to the first months of 1851. The sheet is a preparatory study for one of a set of woodcuts for the series titled "Aus König Friedrichs Zeit, Kriegs- und Friedenshelden". The series contained twelve sheets; the portrait of Generallieutenant Hans Karl von Winterfeldt was the sixth sheet. The woodcuts are in very large format, comparable in size to the format normally reserved for portraits of monarchs. The format aggrandised the military figures much in the same way as a Baroque monarch would have been.
Hans Karl von Winterfeldt (1707-57) was one of Frederick the Great’s closest military advisors, serving him for much of the Seven Years War. The woodcut depicts Winterfeldt in a private moment away from the battlefield. He is depicted without his tricorn hat in the process of binding his sash. The three-quarter-length study is based on a studio model fitted out in historical military dress. Menzel is known to have been interested in historical detail, particularly in the uniforms of the period of Frederick the Great.
By coincidence, Menzel was to ‘encounter’ Generallieutenant Winterfeldt twenty-five years after completing this study. He was present at the opening of the crypt of the Garnisonkirche in Berlin in 1873. Here, he made sketches of the tombs of monarchs and military dignitaries buried there. In 1875, he obtained permission to witness the opening of Winterfeldt’s coffin when his remains were transferred to Berlin from his grave at his home in Silesia.
Two further preparatory studies are recorded, depicting the same figure. One was with C. G. Boerner, Düsseldorf in 1990, the other is held at the Nationalgalerie, Staatliche Museen Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Berlin.
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