Two impressive Carl Schmitt paintings offered at auction this weekend—March 10, 2019

Muses Marooned, 1934, oil on canvas 35 x 41¾ in.
Original frame by Carl’s bother Robert, 1933.

Two large paintings by Carl Schmitt are being offered at an auction this Sunday, March 10, 2019, by Clarke Auction Gallery in Larchmont, New York.

Septimus Severus A

Palace of Septimius Severus, oil on canvas, c. 1950, 20 x 24 in.

Muses Marooned and Palace of Septimius Severus were both originally owned Carl Schmitt’s longtime friend Harold Morton Landon.  Landon was a successful stockbroker in New York with a wife and two children when he met Schmitt on a journey back to America from Europe in 1927.

A cultured man who translated Portuguese and Latin and boasted a fine collection of old master paintings, Landon became an avid “fan” of the younger artist.  “I too have so few people in the world that I care about seeing, but few I love with an intense devotion,” he wrote Schmitt in August, 1932. “Seeing so much of you, Gertrude and Robert” – Schmitt’s wife and brother – “has made me appreciate you more each day, and has made me humble, realizing what a complete zero I am compared with any one of you.  I always feel better after being with you!”  Landon commissioned Schmitt to paint his fantastical St. Francis and the Unicorn around this time.

Muses Marooned, detail

From the time they first met in 1927 until the early 1960s, Landon followed Schmitt’s career closely, seeing all the exhibitions he could and even helping to arrange shows for his friend with galleries in New York.  Around 1930 he had Schmitt paint a portrait of his wife Frederica, who had formed a warm friendship with Carl’s wife Gertrude.

Muses Marooned, detail of Robert Schmitt frame

Over the years Landon bought or was given a number of works Schmitt, including Muses Marooned, which Landon saw at a large one-man show at Columbia University in 1936. Landon wrote to Schmitt that he considered this work “one of the best things you have ever done.”

Muses Marooned was first exhibited at the 33rd Carnegie International Exhibition in autumn, 1934.  It was one of the last in a series of Schmitt’s “muse” paintings which includes Muses on the Mount, Muses in the Valley and The Muses Disagree (all 1921), The Holy Spirit and the Muse (1922), and Muses Marooned (two versions, 1934 and 1936).  The painting is being offered with its original frame carved by Carl’s brother Robert in 1933.

Robert Schmitt’s cartouche on the reverse of the frame of Muses Marooned.

In the early 1950s, Schmitt surprised Landon with a large painting of the Palace of Septimus Severus, based on sketches Schmitt had done while in Rome in the 1930s. In honor of the gift, Landon wrote a dedicatory poem which is still attached to the back of the frame.

Poem in praise of the famous Roman ruin by Schmitt’s friend Harold Landon attached to the back of the frame of Palace of Septimius Severus.

Palace of Sepitimius Severus is an idealized depiction of the famous Roman ruin which mesmerized Schmitt on his visit to Rome in the mid-1930s and which he portrayed in numerous paintings, pastels, and watercolors.  “Rome lives in the round,” he wrote upon seeing the impressive remnants of the once-grand imperial residence. “All sides of the ruin, on different levels, are interesting.  And it is constructed, not poured.  Even the vertical blind walls are arched with the peculiar thin Roman tile. That solid construction coupled with tremendous scale characterizes ancient Rome . . . there stood that bulk.  I have never felt time so challenged.”

Palace of Septimius Severus, detail


Unique religious painting by Carl Schmitt now for sale

Gethsemane, signed “Carl Schmitt 1924”, oil on canvas mounted on board, 30 x 25 in.

This painting, a striking example of Carl Schmitt’s early religious work, is being offered for sale by the owner, a private party in Connecticut.  If you are interested in acquiring this painting, please contact the Foundation.

Label on the back of the stretcher for the exhibit at the Silvermine Tavern and Galleries, December 1930-January 1931.

This work was exhibited at a one-man show at the Silvermine Tavern and Galleries from December 1930 through mid-January of the following year. The owner of the Gallery, John Kenneth Byard, was a one-time patron of Schmitt’s and early benefactor of the Silvermine Guild of Artists.  Schmitt’s agreement with Byard in the 1920s gave Byard the right to acquire all of Schmitt’s work not commissioned by other patrons, and an inventory from 1932 lists this painting in Byard’s possession. The present owner’s grandfather knew Byard (probably as his employer), and most likely acquired the painting directly from him.

This painting is one of many depictions of this scene Schmitt painted between the mid-1920s and early 1930s (some now lost).  A number were experimental works, featuring what one critic called “weird pigmentation.” This painting is unique its kaleidoscopic color and dramatic rendering of Christ’s agony in the garden.

Commenting on a similar Gethsemane by Schmitt, the same critic noted that it had “a subtle quality not entirely unlike the mysticism of El Greco.  Unlike the various moderns who emulate in their work the tortuous rhythms of the great master, Mr. Schmitt brooks no such conscious imitation. His paintings are original and deeply interesting.”

Gethsemane pastel on paper. Private collection (not for sale)
This pastel, probably dating from the 1930s, contrasts dramatically with the vivid coloration and pleading central figure of the similar painting.

Three pastels and a beautiful mature still life by Carl Schmitt now for sale

Three pastels of Carl Schmitt and one oil painting are being offered for sale by the owner, a descendant of a friend of the Schmitts from the 1930s.  If you are interested in any of these works, please contact the Foundation.

Two of the pastels depict the countryside of Tagliacozzo, a town in the Abruzzo region east of Rome where Schmitt convalesced from tuberculosis in the summer of 1939. The artist inscribed the pastels to his friends John and Agnes Cavanagh.

Monte Velino, Abruzzo, August 1939, pastel on paper, 13¾ x 17 in.

Tagliacozzo, August 1939, pastel on paper, 14 x 16½.

An earlier pastel of a tree in Silvermine is also inscribed to the Cavanaghs.

pastel on paper, 17 x 13 in.

A mature still life by Carl Schmitt is rarely seen on the market.  (The painting in the background is another Schmitt still life.)

Blue Bowl, oil on board, 18 x 23 in.

This painting is a companion piece to two others presently in private collections.

Blue Bowl I (left) (oil on canvas 19 x 23 in.) and Blue Bowl II, depicting the same scene from two angles


SOLD! Two Carl Schmitt paintings go to lucky collectors

Floating Market - Spalato 1916 - 24050 - from AskArt

Floating Flower Market, Spalato, oil on canvas, 1916, 15 x 18 in.

Two of the three paintings by Carl Schmitt reported for sale in a previous post on this blog have been sold, one to a good friend of the Foundation.  Floating Flower Market, Spalato, and Stormy Day, works which had been offered for over a year by dealers in Florida and California, respectively, sold within a few weeks of each other in late October and early November.


Stormy Day, oil on canvas, 1915, 15 x 18 in.
Image courtesy of Vander Molen Fine Art, Pomona, California.

A third painting, Autumn Tapestry, is still available from Abby M. Taylor Fine Art in Greenwich, Connecticut.

If you know of any other works by Schmitt currently available for sale, please let us know in the comments.

Carl Schmitt now for sale

Three paintings by Carl Schmitt are currently for sale online, each displaying a different facet of the artist’s early style.

If you know of any other works of Carl Schmitt that are available, either online, through an auction, or from a private individual, please let us know in the comments.


Stormy Day, oil on canvas, 1915, 15 x 18 in.
Images courtesy of Vander Molen Fine Art.

Stormy Day
Stormy Day was painted in 1915 while Schmitt was living in Ohio and was shown at a large exhibition of his works at the Korner & Wood galleries in Cleveland in November of that year.  The style of the painting shows the influence of George Inness (1825-94) and other early “Tonalist” painters, who favored outdoor scenes in hazy light and a limited palette of colors.

This painting is being offered by Vander Molen Fine Art, Arcadia, California.  For additional photographs and information, visit

Stormy Day - detail 1

Stormy Day, detail.

This work was included in the book Carl Schmitt: The Vision of Beauty, with the quotation “The lyric essence is form suggested—form as light.”

Floating Flower Market, Spalato
This is a copy in oil of a pastel done while the artist was in Spalato (Split), Dalmatia, in early 1914. In late June Schmitt sent a package of 14 oil paintings and 39 pastels sent to his patron, Zell Hart Deming who was financing his trip to Europe.

Floating Market - Spalato 1916 - 24050 - from AskArt

Floating Flower Market, Spalato, oil on canvas, 1916, 15 x 18 in.
Image courtesy of Michael Latragna Fine Art.

The original pastel was shown at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 13th Annual Philadelphia Water-Color Exhibition, November – December 1915, and at the National Arts Club 49th American Water Color Society Exhibition, February of the following year.  At Deming’s request Schmitt made two copies in oil, one of which Deming kept in her collection in Warren, Ohio; the other was purchased in 1919 by a fellow resident of Warren.

This painting is being offered for sale by Michael Latragna Fine Art in Fort Meyers, Florida. (Schmitt’s work is the sixth in the group of American paintings.) You may contact the gallery for more information.

Autumn Tapestry
Autumn Tapestry, a lovely early work of Carl Schmitt, is now being offered for sale at Abby M. Taylor Fine Art in Greenwich, Connecticut.

This work is one of a series of similar paintings dating from the early 1920s which include Schmitt’s Ancient Episode and Little Red House.

The woman in the painting was probably modeled by Schmitt’s wife Gertrude.  The trees and scenery show a marked resemblance to the view outside Gertrude’s parent’s house in Silvermine, Connecticut, just up the road from Schmitt’s studio.

For images and to contact the gallery, you can visit the gallery website.

Stormy Day - signature - CROPPED

Schmitt’s signature on Stormy Day