Marder-Mandorla, Gerhard Altenbourg
Gerhard Altenbourg
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Gerhard Altenbourg

Marder-Mandorla, 1982 – 1984

490 x 340 mm
Physical Description
Gouache, powder paint, watercolour, pencil, Chinese ink over lithograph on cream-coloured wove paper, mounted on laid paper
Inventory Number
Object Number
17100 Z
Can be presented in the study room of the Graphische Sammlung (special opening hours)


About the Work

For this work, Gerhard Altenbourg drew on a print – now a lithograph he had made of two large heads facing one another and enclosed in a subdivided roundish form. He covered this image with tiny, densely placed dots and filigree strokes. To that end, he presumably employed an extremely fine marten-hair brush of the kind otherwise used by, for example, Indian miniature painters. He thus created the effect of a multi-layered, pale golden ornamental picture. His title confronts the “mandorla” otherwise surrounding Christ – a symbol of dignity in medieval Christian art – with the vicious marten whose hairs he had used to execute the artwork.

Work Data

Basic Information

Marder-Mandorla (Original Title)
Title Translation
Marten Mandorla
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Gouache, powder paint, watercolour, pencil, Chinese ink over lithograph on cream-coloured wove paper, mounted on laid paper
Geographic Reference
Production Reason
Label at the Time of Manufacture
"monogrammiert unten mittig (mit Pinsel in Schwarz): Altenbourg 1984 /GA 1982, betitelt viertelhoch links (mit Feder in Schwarz): Marder-Mandorla; verso unten mittig (mit Pinsel in Schwarz): Altenbourg / 84/35.
In der Darstellung unten mittig Trockenstempel der Sammlung Gerhard Altenbourg, Altenburg (Lugt 3202)"
Captions Added Later
Verso bezeichnet unten rechts (mit Bleistift): BE 5376
  • Nicht geprüft
Work Catalogues
  • Janda III.84/35

Property and Acquisition

Picture Copyright
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2021

Work Content

Motifs and References



  • 0 Abstract, Non-representational Art
  • 31A24(+3) postures of the head (+ sideview, profile)

Research and Discussion


Object History
Lotar Rubow, Viersen
Auktion 703, Lempertz, Köln, 1994, Nr. 444
Galerie Brusberg Berlin
Galerie Posselt, Bonn
Privatbesitz Bonn, erworben 1999.
Sammlung Margarethe und Klaus Posselt, Frankfurt/Bonn
Schenkung an das Städelsche Kunstinstitut, Frankfurt am Main, 2011.


Since 2001, the Städel Museum has systematically been researching the provenance of all objects that were acquired during the National Socialist period, or that changed owners or could have changed owners during those years. The basis for this research is the “Washington Declaration”, also known as the “Washington Conference Principles”, formulated at the 1998 “Conference on Holocaust-Era Assets” and the subsequent “Joint Declaration”.

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