Löwen auf dem Raubzug (Lions Hunting) by Wilhelm Kuhnert, €100,000 (£85,470) at Nagel.

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The secret of his success was the fact that, in contrast to the majority of his competitors who found their subject matter during visits to zoos, he actually visited Africa and found his motifs there.

Sometimes he also employed drastic methods in the name of art: he sometimes shot the animals he wished to portray.

On February 7, an auction at Nagel (24.5% buyer’s premium) in Stuttgart devoted to works by Kuhnert proved that he is still greatly in favour with modern collectors.

An added attraction was that the 110 paintings and drawings came from the artist’s legacy which had remained in the possession of his descendants until now.

As expected, the top lot was Löwen auf dem Raubzug (Lions Hunting), a 2ft 10in x 4ft 7in (86cm x 1.39m) canvas.

It went to a German collector for a lower-estimate €100,000 (£85,470).

He was one of a handful of German bidders who joined in the sale; as a rule, however, the majority of the action came from US dealers and collectors.


Wisent (Bison) by Wilhelm Kuhnert, €40,000 (£34,190) at Nagel.

One of the latter saw off his competitors to secure another of the sought-after pieces in the sale.

This was Wisent (Bison), painted after 1916. In this case, Kuhnert did not have to travel so far for his subject: it was painted in Bialowieza, an extensive forest wilderness in eastern Poland near the border with Belarus, today a Unesco world heritage site.

The hammer price of €40,000 (£34,190) was double the upper estimate.