Theodor Baierl

The Fall of Man,


pencil and charcoal on paper


Theodor Baierl (German, 1881-1932), active in Munich

The Fall of Man (Der Fall des Menschen), also known as The Three Ages of Life (Die Drei Lebensalter)


pencil and charcoal on paper laid on cardboard

a triptych:

left sheet, Adam and Eve, 72 x 34,6 cm. (28 3/8 x 13 5/8 in.)

signed and dated bottom left: "Th Baierl 1924"

central sheet, The Three Ages of Life, 72 x 65,5 cm. (28 3/8 x 25 3/4 in.)

signed upper right

right sheet, The Three Fates, 72,4 x 35 cm. (28 1/2 x 13 3/4 in.)

signed lower left, "Th Baierl," and indistinctly inscribed, "Die 2 stehenden Figuren … Parzen" ["The two standing figures … Fates"] 

condition: on the margins, minor tears and mounting holes; the central sheet slightly mended along the top edge

framed under glass in a Renaissance-style frame designed by the artist himself



sold at Christie's, London, 2 July 2008, Sale 7587, 19th Century European Art, Lot 208

sold at Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries, London, circa 2010

Publication History:

Sandra Isabell Rohwweder, Von hoher Zinne: Untersuchungen zum Ritterbild im 19. und fruehen 20. Jahrhundert [From High Pine: Investigations on the Knight Image in the 19th and Early 20th Century], PhD dissertation, Rheinischen Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universitait, Bonn, 2019, pg. 229, pg. 229 n. 862, and ill. 82 (reproducing the central panel of the triptych drawing, The Three Ages of Life, Die drei Lebensalter).


This pencil and charcoal triptych was Baierl's study for a larger triptych in oil on wood panel of which The Daulton Collection owns the right wing, The Three Fates (see Theodor Baierl 1 of this website); the present whereabouts of the other two final panels is unknown.  However, the central panel of the oil triptych, The Three Ages of Life, was exhibited in the 1921 Glass Palace Exhibition in Munich, where it was offered for sale.  See Muenchener Kunst-Ausstellung 1921 im Glaspalast (Munich: F. Bruckmann, 1921) (catalogue of the exhibition), pg. 3 and ill. 4 (as "Die vier Lebensalter").  There also exists a smaller scale study of the triptych in colors that was sold by the Jack Kilgore Gallery, New York, circa 2017. 

"In the tradition of early European painting [e.g., Hans Baldung-Grien and Titian], Baierl depicts the three ages of man. Adam and Eve represent the Old Testament, the first of the three stages of human kind. The intimate relationship between mother and child represents infancy and adulthood, whilst an isolated figure signifies old age. The entire composition is united by a vast arch of natural rock, the bridge of life, beneath which a knight rides off to battle, suggesting death by mankind’s determination. The Three Fates oversee and pre-determine all lives. Their symbolism, together with the knight’s, is made all the more poignant by the extensive loss of life during the 1st World War, which was followed by an even more devastating event, the influenza epidemic of 1918."  Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries.

detail showing right sheet of the pencil-and-charcoal triptych study, The Three Fates:

Jack Daulton
The Daulton Collection
Los Altos Hills, California