Missing Kandinsky masterpiece sells for over €1 million | News | DW | 20.06.2021
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Missing Kandinsky masterpiece sells for over €1 million

The geometric painting by Wassily Kandinsky hadn't been seen in public for over 70 years before turning up in Germany. Its rediscovery has been dubbed an "art-historical sensation."

Wassily Kandinsky watercolor painting called Gebogene Spitzen

The location of Kandinsky's "Curved Tips" stumped art experts for decades

After disappearing for decades, a watercolor by Russian artist Wassily Kandinsky ended up resurfacing in Germany — and has now sold for a "record" sum.

The painting, called "Gebogene Spitzen" or "Curved Tips," went under the hammer in Munich over the weekend, according to auction house Ketterer.

The piece ended up selling for nearly €1.13 million ($1.33 million) — over three times its estimated value of €300,000.

The 'rediscovery' of a masterpiece

With its geometric shapes and soft color palate, the watercolor was one of the most sought-after pieces made by the artist.

Painted in 1927, the piece went on to be displayed in Berlin, Paris, Stockholm and Brussels. The last time it was seen in public was believed to be in 1932, according to the auction house.

It was then believed to be sold by an art dealer in 1949 and disappeared from the public eye for over 70 years.

The whereabouts of Kandinsky's "Gebogene Spitzen" stumped art experts and researchers — only known by a sketch the artist did.

The painting ended up surprisingly resurfacing in May this year. It was part of a private collection belonging to a person who lived in the western German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

"Accordingly, this extremely pleasant rediscovery of the watercolor 'Gebogene Spitzen' in the state of a private collection in the Rhineland may well be considered an art-historical sensation," the auction house said in a statement.

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Who was Wassily Kandinsky?

Kandinsky, who died in 1944 at the age of 77, was a Russian artist and theorist known for his abstract works.

He lived in Germany for several years, teaching at the Bauhaus school for art and architecture before it was shut down by the Nazis in 1933.

He then left Germany for France, where he lived until his death.

This report was written in part with material from German press agency DPA.

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