Do flowers grow up to the heavens?
A retired married couple from Denmark would probably think so. A couple of years back they bought a little painting of some flowers at a local flea market for about EUR 30. The wife collected floral paintings. After it had hung on their wall for a couple of years the couple became curious to know more about the picture that was so beautifully painted and even signed. So they approached Lauritz.com. Here they were told that the work was painted by the German painter Gabriele Münter (1877-1962). The couple were bowled over when Lauritz.com valued the little painting, measuring just 23 x 30cm, at almost EUR 30,000. But their surprise became even greater when after hectic bidding activity in the final minutes of the auction the painting ended up reaching a sky-high EUR 77,000. The buyer was from Sweden, so the painting has come to see a bit of Europe despite its diminutive size!
Already as a young girl, Gabriele Münter received private tuition in drawing and later went to a local art school for women. In 1901 Münter began to attend the Phalanx School in Munich, where she met Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) who was president of Phalanx. Meeting Kandinsky played a significant role in Münter’s artistic development and later their relationship became more equal, resulting in their engagement. In 1911 Münter and Kandinsky co-founded the famous German movement Der Blaue Reiter.
When WWI broke out in 1914, Kandinsky and Münter fled to Switzerland, and later the same year Kandinsky was forced to return to his homeland, Russia. In 1915, Münter went to Stockholm, where by virtue of Sweden’s neutrality she was reunited with Kandinsky in the early months of 1916. This turned out to be their last meeting. Kandinsky returned to Moscow, where he married Nina Andreevsky. Münter remained in Scandinavia until 1920, where she moved in circles with artists such as Carl Palme (1879-1960), Isaac Grünewald (1889-1946) and Sigrid Hjerten (1885-1948). During Münter’s time in Scandinavia she exhibited e.g. at Liljevalchs Konsthal, 1917, and in 1918 she had a big exhibition at Den Frie in Copenhagen.