The Swoon
  • Daniel Nikolaus Chodowiecki
  • Gdansk 1726 - 1801 Berlin
  • The Swoon
  • Red chalk, partially pen and black ink,
    on laid paper with irregular borderlines,
  • monogramed with red chalk lower left: DCh-ki,
    numbered with pen and black ink lower right: No 64
  • 210 × 172 mm
Wilhelm Engelmann, Berlin (1808 - 1878)
Mrs. M. Stechow, Berlin about 1910, (see Lugt 2371)
sale with C.G. Boerner, Leipzig 1919, lot 12, ill. plate IV

After the death of his father in Danzig in 1740, the fourteen-year-old Daniel Chodowiecki was sent to relatives in Berlin, where he received instruction in drawing alongside a mercantile education. However, it was not until 1754 that he dared to put an end to this double career and dedicate himself entirely to art.

Soon Chodowiecki was affirmed in his decision with a universal recognition that stretched far beyond Prussia.With his graphic series and drawings, he is still considered the most important illustrator of bourgeois life under King Frederick II (known as “the Great”, 1740-1786), one who was able to capture the signs of the Enlightenment as well as the increasing refinement of social life in Berlin, particularly under the influence of the growing French community. He was later rewarded for his work with numerous honorary offices and the directorship of the Berlin academy.

The provenance of this sheet is notable, as it derives from the collection of Wilhelm Engelmann, the artist’s first biographer. This collection was then purchased by a certain Mrs. Stechow in Berlin, who for her part promoted Chodowiecki’s work over the course of many decades.