Nolde Record: Millions for "Nadja"
Munich, 12 June 2007 - (kk) - The surge of interest in advance was more than justified: Emil Nolde’s "Nadja" fetched top price at the Ketterer Kunst auction in Munich: € 2,850,000*. Measuring 40 x 25 cm, t his oil painting is the most expensive Nolde portrait of a lady in a small format ever sold at auction in Germany. The overall auction proceeds amounted to € 10,000,000, corresponding to a sales quota by lot numbers of 65 per cent.
A German art collector secured this outstanding work, thus ensuring that the dark beauty with green eyes will remain in her native land. This extension of her residence permit, which is so important for Germany culturally, was reported by the ARD television channel that same evening on the 8 pm Tageschau news of the day programme.
"Although "Nadja" was the smallest Nolde painting, it fetched the highest price ever paid in Germany for a work by that artist. I am truly delighted that this important work has found its way into an important private collection. I can easily imagine that "Nadja" will also be seen by the public in future," thus Robert Ketterer, auctioneer and owner of Ketterer Kunst.
The representative of Dr. Ernst Rathenau's heirs is also more than satisfied: "The picture has been justly honoured, an unqualified success, which we owe to Ketterer Kunst."
The Top 5 at the Auction

€ 2,580,000*
Emil Nolde - Nadja
Estimate: € 1,200,000-1.800,000

€ 462,000*
W. G. Bechteyev – Four Girls Bathing
Estimate: € 240,000-280,000€

O. Mueller – Girl Standing in front of Trees
Estimate: € 80,000-120,000€

P. Soulages - Peinture
Estimate: € 100,000-150,000€

W. Morgner – Astral Composition XVI
Six Emil Nolde watercolours also did well, including "Lilien (rot und gelb)" ["Lilies (red and yellow)"], which changed hands for € 138,000* (estimate: € 80,000).
Among the Top Five in the Modern Art division was the Wilhelm Morgner oil painting "Astrale Komposition XVI" ["Astral Composition XVI"], which went to a Greek private collection for € 192,000*. The same collection also acquired Vladimir Georgievich Bechteyev’s "Vier badende Mädchen" ["Four Girls Bathing"], c. 1910/12, after putting an end to an international bidding skirmish with an offer of € 462,000*, thus nearly doubling the estimate.
The Otto Mueller watercolour "Stehendes Mädchen vor Bäumen" ["Girl Standing in front of Trees"] more than tripled the estimate (€ 80,000). With his offer of € 360,000, a German art dealer outstripped not only the auction room but also six telephone bidders from other European countries.
More than worthy of mention were the following:
Artist Title Estimate Result
Karl Schmidt-Rottluff (watercolour) Rainbow over Village Houses € 40,000 € 186,000*
Gabriele Münter (oil painting) Autumn Landscape... € 120,000 € 162,000*
Arnold Topp (oil painting) O. T. – Red and Blue € 50,000 € 114,000*
Christian Rohlfs (watercolour) Field Poppies € 30,000 € 108,000*
Paul Klee (watercolour) A Cat of Sorts € 60,000 € 96,000*
Hans Purrmann (oil painting) Model in Matisse’s Studio € 50,000 € 91,200*
The highlight of the contemporary art (Post War) was the Pierre Soulages oil painting "Peinture ...", which sparked off a fierce contest between numerous bids placed in writing and over a dozen telephone bidders. A compatriot of the painter’s honoured this spectacular work by offering € 252,000 for it*.
Respectable gains were also achieved by:
Artist Title Estimate Result
Franz Kline Study for "Black and White No. 2" € 70,000 € 140,400*
Jörg Immendorff Re-unification Eagle ... € 70,000 € 114,000*
Heinz Mack Stillness Vibrating € 35,000 € 62,400*
Antonio Calderara Spazio luce € 6,000 € 44,400*
Objects unsold at the auction of 12 June 2007 held at the Gartensaal, Prinzregententheater, can still be acquired at the post-auction sale, which runs through 12 July. For auction result lists, please call +49 (0)89-55244-444. More information online at
Since it was founded in 1954, Ketterer Kunst has been firmly established in the front ranks of auction houses dealing in art and rare books. While the Munich headquarters in the Prinz-Alfons Palais is responsible for the two traditional annual auctions of Modern Art & Post War, the Meßberghof in Hamburg is the venue for two traditional auctions a year, each based on the following fields: Old Masters and 19th-Century Art /Marine Art and Rare Books - Autographs - Manuscripts - Decorative Prints as well as Modern Art & Post War, with a focus on works on paper. In addition, exhibitions, special and benefit auctions for charity as well as live auctions online are regular events at Ketterer Kunst.
* The sale price corresponds to hammer price + 20 per cent surcharge.
Munich, June 12, 2007