Study of a Kneeling Workman
  • Adolph von Menzel
  • Breslau 1815 - 1905 Berlin
  • Study of a Kneeling Workman, ca. 1882
  • Black chalk and pencil,
    on pink paper,
  • monogrammed on middle bottom: A.M.
  • 184 × 128 mm
Paul von Schwabach, Berlin (1867-1938),
since then in a private collection by descent

Menzel prepared his last completed painting, the Piazza d’Erbe in Verona from 1882-1884 (Fig.1), with a large number of drawings over the course of several years. The majority of these sketches are concerned with the crowd of people depicted in the painting. Among the largest figures of the composition are the three workmen shown in their entirety in the foreground of the scene. As befitted their importance to the picture, Menzel dedicated a special group of preparatory drawings to these workmen.1

A highly comparable variation on the drawing shown here is in the holdings of the Dresden Kupferstich-Kabinett (Fig.2). Not only is an identical figure depicted, but the measurements of both drawings also correspond. Additionally, both studies were made on coloured paper, a rarity in Menzel’s oeuvre.

  1. Exh. cat.: Menzel in Dresden,
    Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden, 2005 / 2006, p. 240 ff. (ill.)