“ Excellent Portraitist of the Horse in Motion ”
who keep the Ball rolling
Grunenberg, Arthur (Königsberg 1886 – Bad Reichenhall). Rossebändiger (Horse Tamer). Suite of lithographed title and
11 (instead of 12) chalk lithographs
(7⅛-9¼ × 8½-10⅝ in [18-23.5 × 21.5-27 cm]), 10 of which inscribed below right in pencil: A. Grunenberg. (Berlin, Wasmuth, 1922.) With lithographed written sheet contents. In orig. h. vellum portfolio (33.5 × 43 cm [13¼ × 16⅞ in]) with lithographed ills. front cover together with title + author.
AKL LXIII (2009), 471 f.; Thieme-Becker XV (1922), 146; Vollmer II (1955), 325. – Exhibitions: Kunstsalon J. Casper, Berlin, May 1914 + Galerie Arnold, Dresden, March 1927.
One of 40 copies on untrimmed thin Japan and, lithographed title and contents sheet, Japan vélin.
Dioscuri (first sketch)
Dioscuri (second sketch)
1. Dioscuri (first sketch) – 2. Dioscuri (second sketch) – 3. Absalom – 4. Amazon looking out – 5. Injured Amazon – 6. Stallion taming – 7. Horse Tamer (replaced, see below, and therefore not signed) – 8. Restive Horses – 9. Bolting Stallions – 10. Bolting Stallion – 11. The Tamed Stallion (inadvertently not signed) – 12. Morning Ride .
Without sheet 7, “Horse Tamer”, for which the supposedly identical
which itself is not the same as the front cover illustration, was trimmed with loss of publisher’s address and presumably numbering – known here a copy once on the market numbered “XXIII/40”, missing on its part the lithographed contents sheet – to the smaller format of the suite itself, consequently it was not mounted under boards either. The latter original passepartouts, not always fitting anyway and regarded as responsible for isolated trifling foxspots in the mostly white field (only sheet 4 generally slightly touched), were replaced by foil-protected mounting on acid-free light cardboard. – The portfolio foxspotted, but scarcely on the front cover with its fine large representation (6⅛ × 5⅛ in [15.5 × 13 cm]) between the writing in chalk.
The splendid suite
in its unheard of palpable speed of movement
present in impressions of deep black, due to the edition of great rarity – so then also not in the hippological Sarazin Collection, Basel, covering 1527 till 1930 and dissolved 1999 – , as reverence by the artistically so singularly brilliant early German 20th century to milleniums-old equestrian culture, exemplified by the opening sheets of dioscuri (“Sons of Zeus”) + Absalom (son of David) . Just as the set as a whole directly follows the 1921 painting
“ The Dioscuri taming the Horses ”,
that is Castor + Pollux, the latter according to one of the traditions set by
“ Zeus onto the sky as a reward for their brotherly love … as Gemini or as morning and evening star … Polydeukes (Pollux) is distinguished as pugilist,
Castor chiefly as horse tamer ;
but both also appear as horsemen or as driver …
The art used to depict the dioscuri as nobly formed hero youths of slender, but strong built … Usually they are formed naked (all just as here, too) or dressed just with a light chlamys. Almost always they appear in connection with their horses, and that standing beside them, rarely as riders ”
(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., IV, 1001 f.).
The Absalom scene quotes the moment when during the armed conflict with King David with deadly consequence the former was “stopped by his long hair by a terebinth (Pistacia terebinthus, turpentine tree)” (op. cit. I, 54).
Grunenberg, “painter and engraver … devoted himself after legal studies at the suggestion of F. von Lenbach to the art … especially depictions of dance and rhythmically animated youthful figures … recently he also paints highly colorful flower pieces and monumentally animated group compositions like ‘Dioscuri taming the Horses’ … Besides comprehensive graphic activity” (Thieme-Becker).
And Vollmer supplementing:
“ Preferred as motifs the rider and the dancer and danseuse resp. Uses mostly red chalk or chalk.
of the horse in motion ”
The latter then here fascinating up to the final sheet, the back scene of the morning ride whose rider is accompanied by two runners. A unique composition of bodily animation. Embraced by the motion of flat-like trees.
Offer no. 15,145 / EUR 2000. / export price EUR 1900. (c. US$ 2297.) + shipping
„ Sie haben wieder einmal in unverkennbarer Weise Ihr Unternehmen und Ihre Philosophie dargeboten. Ich wünsche Ihnen – beiden – auch in diesem Jahr viel Erfolg und Gefolgschaft von Ihren alten und hoffentlich auch neuen Kunden und natürlich auch persönliches Wohlergehen … “
(Herr D. L., 4. Januar 2010)