Wilhelm von Kobell, Dismounted Horseman with Horse

Kobell, Wilhelm von (Mannheim 1766 – Munich 1853). The Dismounted Horseman with his Horse by the Tree. Kneeling, occupied with the advanced left foot. Beside him the riding crop. Pen and brown ink. 3½ × 4½ in (89 × 113 mm).

With part of a great figurative watermark. – Top left in the bald branches of the tree only little impairing faint browning, 1 cm bister break between the hind legs of the horse backed with acid-free material.

Delicately executed work, created with Kobell’s renditions after Philips Wouwerman (1619 Haarlem 1668) in painting, drawing and print and here reminding of Schumacher – Philips Wouwerman. The Horse Painter of the Golden Age, 2006 – A354 & A328, both times likewise horse standing to the left each towards old pollard willow. First unbridled with peasant/horseman sitting beside, resting second horse and lambs, second saddled and held by the horseman by the halter.

Considered by Edwin Redslob, see below, as of the father’s hand, Ferdinand Kobell (Mannheim 1740 – Munich 1799) – so his written designation on the common mounting board of three Kobell drawings – , to the assessment here the work belongs to the œuvre of the son Wilhelm as already 1787 at the age of just 21 occupied with copying in oil a painting of Wouwerman’s for Baron Fritz at Trier and committed to his work as favorite right into the 1790s, thereby following the father’s early direction.

“ The own schooling in Dutch routine (father Ferdinand) transferred upon the son, albeit in the decisive years (about 1788) he himself had already outgrown it. Hence against the father’s the early work of Wilhelm K. creates the impression of being almost backwards, and his progress took place very slowly; actually he achieved complete independence only at the age of 40. Certainly the manner of

his absorption of the great Dutchmen of the 17th cent. was uncommonly vigorous.

Up to the 90s his works are painterly skillful adaptations of (predominantly) Wouwerman, Berchem and Roos … ” (P. F. Schmidt in Thieme-Becker XXI [1927], 54 ff.). And

“ For our study Wilhelm Kobell is the most interesting one (of the family of father, uncle Franz & brother Egid) … We already observed … how towards the late rococo (about 1770/80) Wouwerman fell out of vogue … Wilhelm Kobell was just in this transitional period. ”

From the prior possession of Edwin Redslob (Weimar 1884 – Berlin 1973) as the

indeed justly called legendary first and only German Reichskunstwart

(1920-1933) during the Weimar Republic and by this

“ in charge of the artistic shaping of the Reich, that is for all public questions of art and culture of the German Empire … To this belonged decisions about state symbols like state emblem, coins, banknotes, stamps, flags, and distinctions, e.g. the eagle scutcheon of the German Empire. To his office also belonged the organization of exhibitions and public celebrations, so e.g. the artistic organization of the Constitution Days and the memorial ceremony in the Reichstag for the minister of foreign affairs, Rathenau, assassinated 1922 … ” (German Wikipedia July 2018).

A career phase downright tailor-made for Redslob, after he, 24-years-old, had advanced 1912 to the hitherto youngest German curator (Erfurt), followed 1919 by the direction of Staatsgalerie Stuttgart and September 1, 1920, parallel to Reichskunstwart, the appointment as director general of all Württemberg museums. In summer 1945 Redslob became co-founder, licensee and editor of the Berlin daily Der Tagesspiegel, 1948 co-initiator of the foundation of the Free University of Berlin, whose vice chancellor he was 1949/50. (All after Wikipedia as above.)

Offer no. 16,092 / EUR  235. (c. US$ 284.) + shipping

  1. Johannes Jahn, Wörterbuch der Kunst, 5th ed., 1957, p. 584.
  2. Horst Gerson, Ausbreitung und Nachwirkung der holländ. Malerei des 17. Jhdts., 2nd ed., 1983, pp. 331 & 338.

„ … wartete das (Eulen-)AHA auf mich … Das Foto von den Waldohreulen(-Jungen in Ihrem Garten) fand ich sehr gelungen, es fügt sich nahtlos in die Stiche ein. Ein wenig beneide ich Sie, denn mir (als aktivem Waidmann) war es bisher nicht vergönnt, diese Tiere in freier Wildbahn zu erleben. Niemeyers Garten ist tatsächlich ein heimlicher Wildpark “

(Herr P. D., 1. Juli 2015)