• Friedrich August von Kaulbach
  • Munich 1850 - 1920 Ohlstadt
  • Maria, 1900
  • Coloured chalks over black chalk,
  • on board, signed and dated lower right:
    F A v Kaulbach / 1900
  • 398 × 306 mm
R. von Passavant-Gontard, Frankfurt
his sale with Cassirer & Helbig, Frankfurt, Dec. 5, 1929
Kunsthandel J.P. Schneider, Frankfurt
Fritz von Ostini: Fritz August von Kaulbach – Gesamtwerk,
Munich 1911, ill. plate 25
Klaus Zimmermanns: Friedrich August von Kaulbach –
Monographie und Werkverzeichnis (catalogue raisonné),

Munich 1980, no. 670, ill. p. 175
Kunstverein Frankfurt am Main, 1913

After 1880, Kaulbach took a greater interest in religious themes. However, in interpreting these subjects, he stayed true to his brilliant reputation as a portraitist and composed the majority of these works along the lines of a portrait.

The pastel drawing shown here exemplifies this reinterpretation; the blond, curly-headed child with his bright but pensive eyes appears in his freshness to be a contemporary of the beholder. By contrast, Mary with her classical profile and build, appears to have stepped out of the Renaissance. Her sombre glance and sadly premonitory embrace of the child symbolize a fate that has already been foretold.

Although Kaulbach himself did not write a title upon the work, Fritz von Ostini published it as early as 1911, during the artist’s lifetime, under the title Maria in the first catalogue of Kaulbach’s works. Klaus Zimmermanns also listed it in his monograph of 1980 under Religious Subjects.