For many years, Bernd Schultz, the founder of the Berlin auction house Grisebach, has compiled an extraordinary collection of drawings by the world's leading artists. It includes the most famous names in history, such as Picasso, Degas, Matisse, Kollwitz and Warhol, who can communicate a motif meaningfully in just a few strokes.

This prolific collector has decided to establish the Exile Museum in Berlin, which is dedicated to the fate of emigrants between 1933 and 1945, so he is now auctioning off his collection in a sale titled ‘Farewell & New Beginning’ at Grisebach in Berlin on October 25 and 26.

The auction includes around 350 drawings spanning five centuries. One of the older works is Étude de jeune homme assis, la jambe droite et la main levées (Study of a young man sitting, right leg and hand lifted) by the French founder of Rococo painting Antoine Watteau. The young man in the sketch wears the costume of a harlequin, a disguise that is repeated in Watteau's oeuvre.

This drawing of a rider was the study of Edgar Degas' only painting with a hunting motif, Le Départ pour la chasse (The Departure for the Hunt), which he began in 1866 and completed in 1873. It was inspired by a trip to England, where he observed the local nobility on their famous hunts.

Like no other artist of his time, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec managed to truly document the activity of cafés, restaurants and cabarets of late 19th-century Paris in his works. In the present drawing, he has captured a slightly resigned older couple who have been dining in the Chez Larue restaurant. As the husband attentively studies the bill, his wife's gaze looks out on the restaurant.

The year 1904 was a seminal year in the transformation of Pablo Picasso's style. From an artistic and historical point of view, he gradually made the change from his blue to his pink period, and on a personal level replaced his friend Madeleine, who was his primary model, with Fernande Olivier, who became his first great love. In the seven years together, numerous works emerged with her as the subject. However, it is unclear in this drawing whether Madeleine or Fernande, or perhaps even both, are depicted.

Has anybody ever put the relationship between mother and child on paper more sensitively than Käthe Kollwitz? Presumably not, and the present work, Farewell, sketched in 1910, showcases this tender bond. Here, the artist and pacifist has produced protective, oversized hands of a mother clutching her lifeless child. This image sadly foreshadows Kollwitz's own experience: her only son, 18-year-old Peter, died in World War I.

Egon Schiele's portrait of his wife Edith was also a farewell. In that year, both died at the end of October at intervals of just a few days from the Spanish flu. Egon expresses his talent through the stark outlines and her pensive expression.

From Oskar Kokoschka comes a large-format self-portrait with a personal dedication, which he made at Christmas in 1920. The dedication reads: “At the Christmas of 1920 in our family home, I wanted to be recognized like this by my dearest brother and loving support Brohuslav, and not as the villain that I actually am. Oskar.” The varying shades of chalk and the activity of lines depicts an inner turmoil reflected in the dedication.

Henri Matisse, one of the founders of modern painting, began depicting Orientalist figures in the 1920s after trips to Algeria and Morocco. Here, a Persian woman is depicted in flowing garments and headdress. A lithograph of this figure hangs at the Art Institute in Chicago.

In Andy Warhol's Hand, sketched in 1953, Warhol captures the immediate moment between idea and execution, when pen is put to paper. The emphasis on the hand hints at the development of the pop art style he is best known for: a print of one full-blown subject

The Bernd Schultz Collection ‘Farewell and New Beginning’ will be auctioned in three sections on October 25 and 26 at Grisebach in Berlin. Two more auctions on both days showcase 19th-century art and photography.

Discover all lots from Grisebach directly on Barnebys

Comment