Franz von Stuck

Portrait of a woman in classical style (Portrait of a woman in a laurel crown)


Seit Jahrzehnten in Privatbesitz, Baden-Württemberg (vom Großvater des jetzigen Besitzers erworben).


Karl Raupp, the well-known painter of Chiemsee, explicitly recommended the use of photography as a tool for the painter in his 1888 essay “Die Photographie in der modernen Kunst” (Photography in Modern Art) in the then popular journal “Die Kunst für Alle” (Art for Everyone). It was the same year that Franz von Stuck recognised the power of photography – he used the medium of photography to market his art when he entered into a cooperation with the Munich art publisher Franz Hanfstaengl in 1888 and had up to 300 works published there until his death in 1928. But that was not all – he often posed in front of the camera himself and had himself photographed by well-known greats such as Alvin Langdon Coburn or Hugo Erfurth, for example. He worked as a photographer himself and, like many other artists – the best-known example in Munich being Franz von Lenbach – also used photography as an aid in the execution of his paintings. Early examples of Erfurth’s use of his own photographs, for which his friends from the academy often stood model, are the paintings Der Wächter des Paradieses (The Guardian of Paradise) and Innocentia, painted in 1889. A remarkable example of how Stuck used photography as a model for his works is this painting of a lady wearing a laurel wreath, which was previously unknown. Painted before the turn of the century, it is based on an anonymous photograph in Stuck’s estate that shows a bust of the same lady in a frontal pose, with her head turned to the right in profile. Stuck transposed the model exactly into his portrait, only changing the dress slightly and setting the sitter in a serene landscape, which leads us to assume that it was a commissioned work. Even though we do not know the exact circumstances of its creation, the authenticity of the painting is beyond doubt, as it can be seen in a photograph of Stuck’s studio taken around 1898 by the photographer August Lorenz. Dr Peter Prange We would like to thank Margot Brandlhuber, Munich, who examined the painting in the original, for her kind support in cataloguing this lot.

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