Alfred Kubin's Fanatismus (Fanaticism) – SFr60,000-80,000 at Beurret, Bailly & Widmer in Basel.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The philosophy of the Austrian draughtsman and illustrator Alfred Kubin was greatly influenced by the pessimism of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche; his art by the fantastic works of Munch and Goya among others. Kubin was renowned for his disturbing, often grotesque and demonic visions, two of which are being offered by Beurret, Bailly & Widmer in Basel on March 23.

They have been consigned by a Swiss collector, who has owned them since 1984. First up is Kubin’s 9 x 10in (22 x 26cm) pen and ink drawing Fanatismus (Fanaticism), a characteristically bizarre composition, combining Christ crucified with the body of an eel. It was created in 1903 and while its radical depiction certainly shocked many in early 20th century Germany, the 26-year-old artist and this drawing were honoured with an illustrated article in the weekly magazine Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung, which praised him as the “Painter of the Invisible”.

Today’s buyers are expected to pay SFr60,000-80,000.

The second work, a 7 x 13in (19 × 32cm) pen and ink drawing, Das schlimmste Geschenk (The Worst Present), depicts a naked woman standing on the outstretched hand of a demonic being with pointed ears and a grim expression. It was published in another Berlin periodical in 1906 and is now guided at SFr30,000-40,000.