"Bürkel and His Travelling Circuses: A Menagerie on Vacation in the Barn"

Henry Bürkel

"Бюркель и его бродячие цирки: зверинец на отдыхе в амбаре"

(1802 Pirmasens - 1869 Munich) Menagerie at Rest in a Barn

Bürkel has engaged with the theme of the traveling folk, who moved from place to place and traveled through annual fairs with their wandering circuses and menageries, in a series of paintings. They offered fascinating performances of exotic animals to the farmers and citizens for a small fee, often accompanied by impressive musical accompaniment. Rarely does Bürkel depict the performance itself, but rather the arduous journeys of his entourage with the animals over mountain passes, idyllically idealized in the Upper Bavarian mountain landscapes. In this mature late work from 1867/68, Bürkel revisits the theme in a different form. The traveling circus is no longer on the move, but has taken a nightly rest in a stable to continue its journey in the morning. Bürkel captures the moment of departure in his narrative representation. While a bear trainer has already left the stable with his bear and the accompanying monkey, the other members of the circus are getting ready: a decrepit, old horse stands by a feeding trough; next to it sits a dromedary, with a comically dressed monkey sitting on its hump; behind them is another bear; three men are leaning against a post, one of them occupied with a monkey holding a rifle; on the right, a mother with a child waits for a donkey to be harnessed to a two-wheeled cart. The present painting can be dated through Bürkel's meticulously kept sales records, in which he lists several versions of menageries or a "stable with bear trainers" from 1867/68. A slightly smaller version, which is consistent in detail, is now in the Bürkel Gallery in his hometown of Pirmasens. Bürkel apparently used a painting by Philips Wouwerman, most likely "The Horse Stable" in the Pinakothek in Munich, as inspiration for the composition. Bürkel's reputation in the genre of the so-called genre landscape is based to this day on his anecdotal, rural scenes from everyday life, which he embeds in rural surroundings of Upper Bavaria, Tyrol, and Italy. Exhibitions in Munich, Dresden, and Berlin, as well as the World Exhibitions in London in 1862 and Paris in 1867, made him widely known and internationally sought after. Oil on cardboard. Signed. Mentioned in the catalogue raisonné, no. 406.

Provenance: Weinmüller Auction, Munich, 22.11.1971, lot 1234.

02 Apr 2024

5 298 700,00



Author Henry Bürkel

Style Genre painting

Lot location Moscow ( 77 )

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