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 beige paper,
  • monogramed lower left: A.M.
  • 158 × 113 mm
Kunsthandel Sabine Helms, Munich
collection Koch, Bremen (1982 - 2011)
Hamburger Kunsthalle, 1982: Menzel - der Beobachter,
Eckhard Schaar, exhib. cat. no. 121, ill. p. 200

After initial visits to the home of his friend Magnus Herrmann in Hofgastein in the summers of 1872 and 1874, Adolph von Menzel first returned to this picturesque spa town in the region of Salzburg in 1879. During this stay, he made the gouache, Blacksmiths in Hofgastein. However, Menzel must have already had further projects in mind, for back in Berlin he would later use numerous individual studies from his vacation in the multi-figure compositions, Procession in Hofgastein (1880) and Grinding Shop in the Smithy at Hofgastein (1881).

The double study shown here also served Menzel as a direct prototype for the depiction of a gentleman in a grey suit in the foreground of the painting Procession in Hofgastein (Fig. 1). Out of respect for the monstrance passing in front of him, this spectator has removed his hat with his right hand. In his left, he holds a closed, yellow umbrella. However, his interest does not seem directed at the Corpus Christi procession, as he looks instead with curiosity at a further group of spectators on the left.