Franz von Stuck

Faun playing a flute (Pan playing a syrinx)


Nachlass Galerie Werner Kunze, Berlin;
seit fast 40 Jahren in Privatbesitz, Berlin.


Franz von Stuck had a lifelong fascination with ancient myths, which were an inexhaustible source of motifs for him. Stuck designed the faun motif of this relief especially for his Munich artist’s villa. There are two other examples that were once installed as bronzed plaster in the vestibule of the studio building and as cast stone in the sculpture garden. In his paintings, the shepherd-god, who stands for a Dionysian joie de vivre, often appears as an amorous, tempestuous conqueror who chases nymphs and mermaids. Here the hybrid being with his hairy legs is depicted playing the syrinx. The wind instrument was named after the naiad Syrinx, a follower of the virgin Artemis, who, when pursued by Pan, turned into reeds (Ovid, Metamorphoses, First Book, 689-712). A preserved pencil sketch shows the composition of the present relief, only the triangular pediment seemingly resting on the faun’s horns is left out. The faun is given in a severe frontal view, whereby Stuck was probably inspired by the formal language of the ancient Archaic period. – With small chips on the lower edge. The lower right corner with reddish discolouration. Cotton threads (for the production of the plaster cast) visible on the reverse in a some places.

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