Max Pechstein's masterpiece with a painting on each side achieved a sensational result of €3,500,000 in Ketterer Kunst's auction of Modern and Contemporary Art. "Thus the work did not only set a new world record for a painting by the artist, it is also the most expensive work sold in an auction in Germany in 2011", said Robert Ketterer.
With this record result Ketterer Kunst has achieved the highest annual hammer price three times over the past five years in Germany.
The oil painting from 1910 (lot 25) is one of Pechstein's strongest works according to the cataloguer. A collector from Germany seemed to value the quality as well, relegating national and international competitors from the Ukraine over Great Britain to the USA to places second and beyond.
Weib mit Inder auf Teppich - the painting which appears on the front side - is part of a series of illustrations of Indians, believed together to be a total of five, of which two are lost and two are in possession of the St. Louis Art Museum from the possession of Dr. Karl Lilienfeld, who had taken 40 Pechstein paintings with him when he emigrated to the USA.
The female nude is Charlotte Kaprolat, the later wife of Max Pechstein. The identity of the Indian man is unknown, he was invited to sit for the series in Pechstein's studio in Berlin-Friedenau.
The still life on the reverse, titled Früchte II is believed to have been influenced by a Cézanne exhibition in Berlin which Pechstein had visited in 1909.
With a result of €3,500,000 the German collector bought the work at more than five times its starting price.
"All in all, the auction of Modern and Contemporary Art made for a terrific atmosphere and new records. The section of Modern Art alone has 17 results beyond the €100,000 mark and a sales quota by lots of 75 percent, as well as a value-increase quota of 185 percent (ratio between starting- and hammer price)" says Robert Ketterer.
He continues: "Our autumn auctions realised proceeds of €16,600,000, some €3.1m more than in the second half of 2010."