Studies of a man with umbrella
  • Adolph von Menzel
  • Breslau 1815 - 1905 Berlin
  • Studies of a man with umbrella, before 1880
  • Carpenter´s pencil, on creme paper
  • monogramed lower left: A. M.
  • 158 × 113 mm

After a few initial visits to his friend Magnus Hermann in Hofgastein, in the summers of 1872 to 1874, Adolph Menzel first returned to this picturesque spa town in the Salzburger Land in 1879. During this stay, he would make the famous gouache, Smithy in Hofgastein. But Menzel must have already had in mind further projects on a similar theme, for in Berlin he would subsequently use numerous studies made on this holiday for the multi-figured compositions Procession at Hofgastein (1880) and Grinder in the Smithy at Hofgastein (1881).

The double study shown here also served Menzel as the direct prototype for the central figure of a gentleman in a grey suit in the foreground of the painting Procession at Hofgastein (Fig. 1). Out of respect for the monstrance passing in front of him, this spectator has doffed his hat with his right hand. In his left, he holds a closed yellow umbrella.

However, he appears less interested in the Corpus Christi procession than in the further group of spectators on the left, toward whom he glances in surprise.