Two portrait studies and a fan
  • Adolph von Menzel
  • Breslau 1815 - 1905 Berlin
  • Two portrait studies and a fan, ca. 1880
  • Carpenter´s pencil, on vellum
  • monogramed on the lower right: A. M.
  • 254 × 156 mm

Although during his life Adolph Menzel never took on any students and avoided administrative duties, he soon was considered one of the leading artists of Prussia. He was as cherished by colleagues and art critics as by the high aristocracy, not only for his decades-long engagement with the history of the House of Hohenzollern. At court, this small and rather whimsical man was a welcome guest, even when he constantly sought to capture his surroundings in his sketchbooks, whether the moment was suitable or not. Thus we find in Menzel’s work numerous studies and paintings with depictions of grand society events and celebrations.

According to the fashion of the time, a lady’s evening wear always included long white gloves and a fan. For gentlemen, a full beard bestowed the necessity gravity after a certain age.

Despite the precise depictions of the apparently unrelated motifs on this drawing, we have not yet been able to connect them to further works by Menzel.