Männliches Porträt, 1880

Gemälde von eine:r unbekannte:n Künstler:in, Öl auf Leinwand, 59,5 x 46,5 cm

Unbekannt, Männliches Porträt, 1880

Genre Painting
Materials Oil on canvas
Size 59,5 x 46,5 cm
Signature signed and dated bottom right: Humming (?) 1880

Restored with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Kunststiftung

Research status

Provenance is established. The work does not qualify as a cultural asset extorted due to Nazi persecution.

A puzzling signature

“Apart from his work, Waldemar Grzimek had another, hidden passion: collecting. And few people knew about the secret cellar in the west of Berlin where he assembled all his art (…)”

Bernd Nicolai: Introduction to the exhibition “Berliner Kunst 1770–1930”, Städtische Galerie Altes Theater, Ravensburg, 1 June 1986

This painting is from the study collection that once belonged to the sculptor Waldemar Grzimek (1918–1984). It reflects his idea of artistic quality. He picked up works wherever he came across them. In some cases identifying his sources seems to be an impossible feat. If the frame was replaced, all pointers to earlier stages of the journey vanished. If not even the signature can be deciphered beyond doubt, as with this expressive portrait of a person as yet unidentified, researchers have nothing to build on.

Who was the artist? And who was the sitter?