In 1911-12 he was an important member of the Neue Künstlervereinigung München (New Association of Artists in Munich), highly respected by his painter colleagues. With them he participated at a 1912 exhibition in Barmen, 25 miles to the east of Düsseldorf. His contribution was a newly painted 5ft 5in x 4ft 8in (1.65 x 1.36m) composition, Leda und der Schwan (Leda and the Swan), which is now one of the highlights at Ketterer in Munich on December 10.
It was an important milestone in Bechtejeff’s career, demonstrating the upcoming influence of Cubism coupled with underlying eroticism of the motif. After the exhibition it was bought by a well-known collector, Werner Dücker.
Since then, it has passed through several other German collections, but has not been exhibited for many decades. Some time ago the work resurfaced and is now being sold by a collector from Saxony.
In 1912, Dücker paid the then considerable sum of 1650Marks for Leda; today’s bidders are expected to invest at least €300,000.