Lot 91. Josef Von Brandt. Polish [1841-1915]
RETURN FROM THE HORSE MARKET; ca 1884 oil on canvas 35.5 x 63.75 in. (90.2 x 161.9 cm) signed; titled on a plaque; inscribed “Monachium, Warzaway” lower left Exhibited: Dresden Exhibition, 1884 (on plaque) Provenance: Sotheby’s, New York, May 29, 1980 (lot 223) Josef von Brandt studied engineering at the school of J.N. Leszcynski and at the Nobleman’s Institute in Warsaw. In 1858, he travelled to Paris to further his engineering studies at the École des Ponts and Chausses, but his fellow Polish countryman, Juliusz Kossak, pursuaded him to devote himself to painting. Painters Kossak and Henryk Rodakowski were Brandt’s first art teachers in Paris and, for a time, he studied at the studio of the French Academic artist Léon Coignet. Josef von Brandt moved to Munich in 1862, opening his own studio and practicing under the tutelage of artists Karl Piloty and Franz Adam. During the following years, Munich became somewhat of a Mecca for Polish artists, and Von Brandt began to gain notoriety and financial success, establishing a school for young, mostly Polish, painters. Brandt remained in Munich for the remainder of his life and his studio became a gathering place for Polish artists. Between 1863 and 1875 over eighty Poles were enrolled in the Munich Academy. The Polish artists in Munich were a closed group and tended to keep to cultural themes: views of villages, genre scenes from the everyday life of country folk, motifs of horsemen, and glorious events from Polish history, all of which were extremely popular amongst the general public because of their picturesque qualities. They brought costumes, accessories and local sketches with them in order to create typical Polish scenes. The art historian Adolf Rosenberg wrote the following about Józef Brandt: “He creates the motifs for his genre and history pictures exclusively from the current life and history of his homeland, all of which are inspired by a typically Polish fervent patriotism. His pictures have a high ethnographic value thanks to his extensive study of Slavic types, old weapons and costumes and the melancholy landscape of his fatherland that resembles the Russian steppes…” While known for his depictions of Cossak wars and battle scenes, von Brandt was also highly skilled at depicting Polish peasant life, with horses being central to most of his compositions, as in the present work.
Estimate: 150,000.00 – 200,000.00 CAD. Hodgins Art Auctions. 11/27/17 (17220000)