Lot 30. Hans Baldung Grien (?Schwäbisch Gmünd 1484/1485-1545 Strasbourg), Lot and his daughters, oil on panel, in three parts, 37 5/8 x 63 3/8 in. (95.6 x 158.4 cm.) overall inscribed 'LOTT' (upper left)Estimate USD 700,000 - USD 900,000Unsold. © Christie's Images Ltd 2019.

ProvenanceLot drinking the wine: Count Karol Lanckoronski (1848-1933), acquired in Italy before 1912, Palais Lanckoronski, Vienna, and by descent to his son,
Count Antoni Lanckoronski (1893-1965), Palais Lanckoronski, Vienna, and after 1947, Schloss Hohenems, Voralberg, and by inheritance to his wife,
Countess Karolina Lanckoronska (1898-2002), Switzerland.
with Julius Böhler, Munich.
Anonymous sale; Laurin Guilloux Buffetaud Tailleur, Paris, 7 December 1973, lot 21, where acquired by
Gabriel Malmenayde (1929-2015), Neuilly-sur-Seine, France.
Art market, Paris, where acquired by the present owner.

Lot's daughter lying naked on a bed; and The burning city of SodomLéon-François Comerre (1850-1916), Le Vésinet, near Paris, and by descent to 
Maxime Comerre (1884-1970), Trélon, and by descent to 
Madame Denise Lion-Comerre; sale, Paris, Hôtel Drouot (Maître Giafféri), 3 February 2003, lot 304, as 'École allemande du XVIeme siècle - Femme nue allongé.
Art market, London, where acquired by the present owner. 

Literature: Lot drinking the wine:
Sammlung Anton Graf Lanckoronski, 1939, Wien III., Jacquingasse 16-18, BDA-A, ref. n., Rest. 26/1, file 6, pp. 1-104 (BDA 4869). 
Inventar der Sammlung Lanckoronski aufgenommen vom 1.-3. Juni 1950 nach dem Brand, BDA-A, Reservatsakten, ref. no. 108/Res/50, pp. 49-71. 
W. Hugelshofer, 'Wiederholungen bei Hans Baldung Grien', Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, XXXII, 1969, p. 39, fig. 6. 
Weltkunst, 15 November 1973, p. 1999. 
Gemäldegalerie, Staatliche Museen Preussischer Kulturbesitz, Katalog der ausgestellten Gemälde des 13.-18. Jahrhunderts, Berlin, 1975, p. 39. 
G. von der Osten, 'Ein Altar des Hans Baldung Grien aus dem Jahre 1511, und eine Frage nach verschollen Werke des malers', Zeitschrift des deutschen Verein für Kunstwissenschaft, XXXI, 1977, p. 51. 
G. Pariset, 'Réflexions à propos de Hans Baldung Grien', Gazette des Beaux-Arts, Paris, July-August 1979, pp. 1-8.
J. Winiewicz-Wolska, 'Wiedenskie zbiory Karola Lanckoronskiego przed stu laty'Folia Historiae Artium, Seria Nowa, 8-9, 2002/2003, pp. 119-120, fig. 41. 
G. von der Osten, Hans balding Grien. Gemälde und Dokumente, Berlin, 1983, n. V110, pl. 200. 
J. Winiewicz-Wolska, Karol Lanckoronski and His Viennese Collection, Cracow, 2014, I, p. 323; II, p. 108, no. 313.

This lot has been requested for inclusion in the forthcoming exhibition, Hans Baldung Grien, organized by the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, under the patronage of the State of Baden-Wurttenberg, to be held from 30 November 2019 to 8 March 2020.

NoteThe history of Hans Baldung Grien’s Lot and his daughters is one of the most remarkable tales of rediscovery in modern art history. Since the early 20th century, scholars have recognized that Baldung produced two versions of this composition and that both had, at some point in their history, been cut down into fragments. Up until recently, only two of these fragments were known, both representing Lot drinking the wine. The better known of these is today in the collection of the Gemäldegalerie, Berlin (fig. 1), and was discovered around 1930 by Edmund Schilling (1888-1974) in the Heinemann Gallery, Wiesbaden. Schilling, who at the time was a curator in the department of prints and drawings at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt, tried to buy it for his institution, but the acquisition was rejected. The painting was later purchased by the painter Hans Purrmann (1880-1966), who in 1937 donated to the museum in Berlin. 
The present version of Lot drinking the wine was acquired by Count Karol Lanckoronski (1848-1933) in Italy before 1912, thereby becoming part of one of the most celebrated collections in Europe. The painting is mentioned in a letter from the Czech art historian Max Dvorák (1874– 1921) to Karol Lanckoronski dated 30 July 1912 (ÖNB, Sammlung von Handschriften und alten Drucken, ref. no. Autogr. 611/55-22; see J. Winiewicz-Wolska, op. cit., II, p. 108), securely placing it in the Count’s collection at that time. The nucleus of the Polish Lanckoronski family’s art collection was formed by Count Karol's great-grandfather, Count Kazimierz Rzewuski, who on 7 October 1815 purchased a considerable part of the collection of Stanislaw August Poniatowski, last King of Poland (1732-1798). In the 1870s and early 1880s Count Lanckoronski added to this, acquiring in particular Italian Gothic and early Renaissance pictures. Between 1892 and 1894, the Count built a magnificent neo-baroque palace in Vienna to house his collection, which was the second largest in private hands in the city. Baldung’s Lot drinking the wine was installed in a small room known as the Old-German Study, where it hung alongside works by Lucas Cranach, Hans Holbein, and Hans Burghkmair as well as Early Netherlandish and French masters such as the Brunswick Monogrammist and Corneille de Lyon (J. Winiewicz-Wolska, op. cit., II, p. 321). Elsewhere in the palace could be seen works by Rembrandt, including The Girl in the Picture Frame (Royal Castle, Warsaw), as well as Italian masterpieces such as Masaccio’s Saint Andrew (J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles), Paolo Uccello's Saint George and the Dragon (The National Gallery, London), and Dosso Dossi’s Jupiter with Mercury and Iris (Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna). 
In 1939, Antoni Lanckoronski, Count Karol's son, obtained permission to transport the collection to Poland. These plans were thwarted, however, by the outbreak of the World War II, during which time the collection was confiscated by the Gestapo. After the war, the restituted collection returned for a short time to Vienna; part of it was subsequently sold, while most of the remainder was moved to Schloss Hohenems in Voralberg, near the Swiss frontier. The most valuable works were fortunately transferred to a bank in Switzerland, as over 100 pieces were tragically destroyed soon thereafter in a fire. A substantial portion of the surviving works, comprising more than eighty Italian Old Masters, was gifted to Poland in 1994 by the descendants of Count Lanckoronski, where it is divided between the Wawel, Cracow, and the Royal Castle, Warsaw. 
Lot drinking the wine is listed in the Lanckoronski inventory as AL 181, HTO 178, neg. BDA 4869. The “H” indicates that the picture was one of the objects listed in the 1950 inventory that was drawn up to record the works that had survived the Hohenems fire (see Literature). Moreover, the inventory indicates that the painting had remained in the Lanckoronski’s possession during the war and was not looted by the Nazi regime. Rather, it was sent by Count Antoni Lanckoronski to Hohenems Castle in 1947. The painting remained in the family’s collection in Switzerland until it was eventually sold by Julius Böhler in Munich. In 1973, the painting was acquired by Gabriel Malmenayde of Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, in whose collection it remained for years. 
The sliver of the shockingly-white flesh of Lot’s recumbent daughter’s arm and hip, as well as her dress, visible along the lower edge of the Berlin panel was, up until recently, the only evidence what Hans Baldung Grien’s original composition of Lot and his daughters might have looked like. The path to the mystery’s resolution began in February 2003; the missing fragment depicting Lot’s daughter (now reincorporated into the present painting) appeared at auction in Paris, with an attribution as German school, 16th century and entitled 'Femme nue allongé’ (reclining nude woman; fig. 2). The superior quality of the painting was only revealed, however, when it was subsequently cleaned in London by Shepherd Conservation. The entire upper right quadrant of the rectangular panel had been overpainted, and when this was removed, The burning city of Sodomwas revealed (fig. 3). One can immediately see why whomever cut down the original composition chose to preserve this fragment. It is a spectacular vision of the sinful city’s fiery demise, made all the more chilling with the inclusion of the haunting figure of Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt. The illusionistic treatment of the wine cask that rests on the table not only highlights Baldung’s mastery of line and perspective, but also further develops the narrative most satisfactorily. 
The reclining figure had been obscured by years of dirty varnish and overpaint, and once freed from these, it became clear that it was a work of exceptional quality. Soon after, an attribution to Hals Baldung Grien was suggested, and after looking through Gert von der Osten’s 1983 catalogue raisonné, it was quickly linked with the ex-Lanckoronski fragment. With the subject matter properly identified, the history of the painting became clear. Evidently, at some point in the past, Lot and his daughters was cut into several independent compositions: namely Lot drinking the wine, Lot’s daughter lying naked on a bedLot’s second daughter (see below), and The burning city of Sodom. In order to make the newly 'L’-shaped panel representing Lot’s daughter lying naked on a bed once again rectangular, the latter vertical panel was turned on its side and placed into the vacant space, thus happily preserving the composition. At that point, the burning city was painted out, transforming the seductive, but challenging (due to her incestuous story) figure of Lot’s daughter, into a less threatening figure who could be read as a Venus or Judith. Armed with this knowledge, the new owner of Lot’s daughter lying naked on a bed and The burning city of Sodom put every effort into tracking down the ex-Lanckoronski Lot drinking the wine, which after a lengthy hunt, he was able to acquire through a Paris-based dealer. 
With the recovery of the lost Burning city of Sodom and the reunion of Lot drinking the wine and Lot’s daughter lying naked on a bed, the majority of Baldung’s original composition may now be admired. Most tantalizing is the fact that by reassembling these three fragments, it is now possible to identify a final missing piece of Baldung’s Lot and his daughters, hiding in plain sight in Gert von der Osten’s 1983 catalogue raisonné under no. V115 (op. cit., p. 275, pl. 202), where it is identified simply as a female half-length figure. This alluring young woman, whose nakedness is only made more explicit by the strands of pearls draped around her neck and the gold chain that runs across her chest, is painted on a panel whose dimensions and scale align perfectly with the present composition. Removing any doubt about the connection, the back of Lot’s belted coat is visible along the right edge of the panel. The fabric held by the woman can accordingly be understood to be part of the tent’s green curtain, which she is in the process of drawing shut in preparation for the Biblical story’s critical event. Most importantly, the horizontal joint between the two boards that make up the fragment lines up perfectly with the edge of Lot’s daughter lying naked on a bed (fig. 4).The exciting conclusion is that this panel must be the fourth fragment of Baldung’s Lot and his daughters, and should therefore be renamed Lot’s second daughter. The current whereabouts of Lot’s second daughter are unknown. According to von der Osten, the panel was last seen in 1972, when it was with the Galerie S. Koti, located at 17, avenue de Messine in Paris. Notably, this provenance was provided to the scholar in 1981 by Jan Lauts, the former director of the Karlsruhe Kunsthalle, and it has not yet been possible to establish when and to whom the painting was sold. With the public exhibition and auction of these three newly reunited panels in These Rooms, it is hoped that the missing fragment representing Lot’s second daughter will reappear.
The three panels that have now been reunited to form the present painting have never been available for study by modern scholars, despite their appearance in recent decades at public auction. This lack of accessibility helps to explain von der Osten’s hesitation to fully attribute the Lanckoronski Lot drinking the wine to Baldung, despite the fact that the artist is known to have painted replicas of his compositions (see W. Hugelshorfer, op. cit.). With the recovery and the reunion of these fragments, it is now possible to confirm the work’s autograph status. Like the Berlin Lot drinking the wine, the present work is on an oak board. Infrared reflectography of the Berlin Lot drinking the wine reveals the presence of pouncing, which indicates that the design for the painting was laid out using a cartoon (fig. 5). The infrared reflectograms of both Lot drinking the wine (fig. 6) and Lot’s daughter lying naked on a bed (fig. 7) from the present painting similarly reveal pouncing, which has been elaborated with freely-drawn lines. Notably, these do not always follow the cartoon, for instance, Baldung changed the positions of Lot's ring and the daughter's necklace, indicating that the artist continued to revise his composition as he painted it. This evidence suggests that the present version may predate the Berlin panel. This idea was already advanced by Alfred Stange in an unpublished letter from 19 September 1967, in which the scholar drew particular attention to what he judged as a superior treatment of the play of light on the drapery, the lively handling of the fur, and little differences in the hair, beard, the ring, hands and Lot’s attire, all of which compare favorably to those features in the Berlin panel (loc. cit.). Dendrochronological analysis performed by Dr. Ian Tyers in May 2003 suggests an original usage date for the panel between 1530 and 1560, for all of the panels that compose the present lot. This dating corresponds to paintings themselves, which are executed with a luminous, cool palette evocative of precious materials such as ivory and garnets as well as a calligraphic use of line that characterizes Baldung’s late work of around 1530.
Hans Baldung Grien was a gifted painter and graphic artist, and was considered to be one of the most important painters of his time. Unlike most of his contemporaries, who continued the artisanal practices of their fathers, Baldung was born into a prosperous family of lawyers and doctors. An indication of his family’s erudition and elevated social position is seen in the life of his relative Hieronymous Baldung, who was the personal physician of the Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. In the 1490s, Baldung’s family moved from Schwäbisch Gmünd, Swabia to Strassburg, where the artist lived for most of his career. The young artist must have received his early training in that city, though the identity of his first teacher is unknown. Baldung was a precocious talent, whose mastery of the graphic arts is already evident in the incredible circa 1502 pen and brush on blue-green prepared paper Self-Portrait (fig. 8; Kunstmuseum, Basel), in which he appears in a stylish hat, confidently looking out at the viewer. In 1503, at the age of 18, Baldung moved to Nuremberg, where he entered the workshop of Albrecht Dürer. There, he appears to have earned his nickname 'Grien’ (green), probably inspired by his love for the color and assigned to him in the shop to distinguish him from the numerous other assistants named Hans. During Dürer’s second trip to Venice in 1505-07, the master left Baldung in charge of his workshop, and they seemingly enjoyed a close friendship, as when Dürer died, the younger artist was sent a lock of his hair, which was found amongst Baldung’s effects after his own death in 1545. Baldung left the workshop shortly after Dürer’s return in 1507, and two years later settled in Strassburg. Though Baldung’s art was informed by that of his master, he quickly developed his own, eccentric style. While Dürer’s art tended to be dignified and often concerned with theory, measurement and formal perfection, Baldung’s was impetuous and often intentionally informal. His paintings and compositions are almost universally spirited, with mischievous overtones. 
Baldung’s Lot and his daughters is best understood in the greater context of the artist’s erotically-charged compositions of witches and seductresses. These were not intended to be moralizing, but rather enjoyed for their beauty and comic overtones (G. von der Osten, op. cit., p. 162), such as his 1514 pen and ink drawing of witches that bears the inscription 'DER COR CAPEN EIN GUT JAR’ (to the cleric a good year; fig. 9; Graphische Sammling Albertina, Vienna), yet they also reflected a real fear of witchcraft and uneasiness with female sexuality that swept across Europe in this period and grew to a fervor toward the end of the 16th century. A book called the Malleus Malleficarum (Hammer of Witches) had recently been published by a pair of Dominican Inquisitors in 1486. This was a manual for affirming the existence of witches, describing their practices and asserting the fact that they were most often women. The book ascribed to them the power of flight, and recorded how they engaged in sexual orgies and even cannibalistic behavior, specifying that 'all witchcraft comes from carnal lust, which is in women insatiable.’ (H. Kramer and J. Sprenger, The Malleus Maleficarum, translation by M. Summers, New York, 2007, p. 47). 
Hans Baldung Grien’s Lot’s daughter lying naked on a bed, with her marmoreal white flesh – made all the more striking set against the vibrant red of her velvet sheets and the deep green of the curtain in the background – and intensely direct, seductive gaze, is the epitome of this lustful type of woman. The story of Lot and his Daughters is recounted in the Old Testament, Genesis XIX: 30–38. Urged by two angels to flee the immoral city of Sodom before its imminent destruction, Lot and his family left their home. However, Lot’s wife disregarded the angels' command to not look back upon Sodom’s burning ruins and was thus transformed into a pillar of salt for her disobedience. Lot escaped to the desolate mountain town of Zoar with his two chaste daughters who, fearing that following the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah they would remain on earth without the hope of progeny, conspired to make their father drunk and trick him into impregnating them. Indeed, it is easy to draw parallels between this biblical account and the popular stories of witches and enchantresses seducing innocent young (and old) men with magic potions. 
Baldung’s Lot and his daughters must have been well-received, so much so in fact that the artist created a replica of it. It is important to remember that despite their morally ambiguous actions, Lot’s daughters were viewed in the Renaissance as virtuous figures, who, through their actions were able to save mankind by repopulating the earth. In fact, subjects such as this, like paintings of Mary Magdalene and Salome, were immensely popular in this period, as they allowed artists and humanist collectors to indulge in images of eroticized women, whose biblical roots endowed these representations with moral legitimacy. 
The creation of the second version of Baldung’s Lot and his daughters was likely due to a specific request from one of the artist’s clients. Although the earliest provenance of each version is unknown, it seems likely that both panels were together when they were cut down, since it is otherwise difficult to account for why both versions received the same treatment. Evidently, after Lot drinking the wine was removed from the first panel, the results were deemed satisfactory and the second version was similarly dismantled (see W. Hugelschofer, “Wiederholungen bei Baldung”, Zeitschrift für Kunstgeschichte, XXXII, 1, 1969, pp. 37-39). 
This lot has been requested for inclusion in the forthcoming exhibition, Hans Baldung Grien, organized by the Staatliche Kunsthalle, Karlsruhe, under the patronage of the State of Baden-Wurttenberg, to be held from 30 November 2019 to 8 March 2020.

Christie's. Old Masters, New York, 1 May 2019