Bernard Kretzschmar (1889-1972), Auction,  etching, drypoint, and burnished aquatint, 1921, signed and dated (’20) in pencil lower right [also initialed in the plate lower left] Reference: Diether Schmidt 80. In very good condition, the full sheet with wide margins, 13 1/2 x 15 1/2, the sheet 18 x 22 inches, archival window mat.

Published by the Marées-Gesellschaft, with their blindstamp lower right.

A fine impression. This impression may be a second state, after burnishing of the plate. Burnishing marks are evident especially in the lower section, the lower left corner, the area surrounding the head of the auctioneer, the face of the man at the desk recording the auction, and elsewhere.

Kretzschmar is one of the great, but underappreciated German Expressionists. Originally a decorative painter, he saved enough money to enroll at the Kunstgewerbeschule, then the Kunstacademie (art school) in Dresden. In 1920, at the age of 31, he destroyed all his work and started anew, focusing on the life of the townspeople of Dresden and surrounding towns.

In Auction, done in this period, he does not portray the auction attendees or staff lovingly, but rather as a somewhat grubby lot, staring at what appears to be a woman’s undergarment (or some such thing) being brought up for sale