The rather protracted process of registering and getting approval to bid at Lempertz in Cologne ended in one of those unlucky conclusions. My bid was the same as the winner's in Saturday's auction for this lot, The Ruins at Taormina, a picture by Ferdinand Knab, but because that bidder was in the room, and mine was an absentee bid, his was accepted and my limit would have had to be higher for the bidding to continue. I think the price achieved is the right one, but obviously I am sad that my bid was not successful. As someone noted, "well, at least you're cash richer". It's not something that is providing huge comfort at the moment.
Knab painted this in Italy in about 1870 during his tour of the country. Upon his return to Germany he became court painter to King Ludwig II, (the mad one). I especially liked the light and the perspective, but I wont wax lyrically anymore, lest I burst into tears. It's quite easy to understand why art in German is kunst.
In the same auction there were two other pictures of similar genre:
The Temple of Vesta at Tivoli, by Carl Jungheim
Villa Carlotta by Carl Hummel, 1874
which I liked, but not as much as the Knab. Villa Carlotta holds happy memories of a visit to a friend who lived in a palazzo on Lake Como. We went to the villa after a rather good lunch in Bellagio, so it was an amusing afternoon, with much sacrilegious mirth at the absurdity of a huge and rather silly picture on the first floor.
All images are from Lempertz.com