A self-portrait by German Expressionist painter Ernst Ludwig Kirchner due to be auctioned in the coming days could fetch up to almost €15 million according to a story published in ARTnews.
Self-Portrait with a Pipe, painted in 1907, shows the artist rendered with vibrant brushstrokes smoking a pipe and will be offered during a modern and contemporary art evening sale at Sotheby’s London headquarters on June 29th. is expected to fetch £8 million to £12 million ($9.8 million to $14.7 million). If it reaches its high estimate it could be among the five most expensive works by the artist to sell at auction.
The present self-portrait was last exhibited publicly in the 2007 exhibition, “Vincent van Gogh and Expressionism,” held at the Neue Galerie in New York and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. That showcase highlighted van Gogh’s influence on Kirchner, who identified with the French painter’s personal struggles. Kirchner suffered a breakdown in 1915 leading to his discharge from the German Army.
Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, (6 May 1880 – 15 June 1938) was a German expressionist painter and printmaker and one of the founders of the artists group Die Brücke or “The Bridge”, a key group leading to the foundation of Expressionism in 20th-century art.
Self-Portrait with a Pipe was first owned by his friend and Die Brücke co-founder Karl Schmidt-Rottluff. Later it passed into the hands of Hugo Simon, a Berlin-based banker and politician in 1931. Facing Nazi persecution, Simon fled to Paris in 1933 and eventually landed in Brazil.