11 Works:19th Century European Artists: Franz von Stuck, Carl Larsson, Maksymilian Gierymski, Leo Putz, Joaquín Sorolla, Wilhelm Kray, Maximilian Lenz, Andreas Schelfhout, George Hendrik Breitner, Auguste Léveque, Diyarbakirli Tahsin

Franz von Stuck, 1863 - 1928, GERMAN
Oil on panel
135 by 126cm., 53¼ by 49½in
Private collection

Thee Dragon Slayer is a particularly charged rendition of an age-old theme. Although most of Stuck's paintings depict scenes from the Antique or the Bible, neither the title The Dragon Slayer nor the iconography reveal the exact story behind the present work. Stuck's fascination with Greek legends suggests the subject to be Perseus and Andromeda, although Medusa's head and Perseus's winged shoes are missing. As early as 1900 Stuck’s contemporary, Lovis Corinth (lots 3, 4 & 5), had painted the hero as a medieval knight rather than a Greek half-god, and his Perseus and Andromeda may have been a possible source of inspiration for the present work. Another obvious influence would have been the biblical story of St. George, who kills the dragon to save a virgin. More on Thee Dragon Slayer

Franz Stuck (February 23, 1863 – August 30, 1928) was a German painter, sculptor, engraver, and architect. Born at Tettenweis near Passau, Stuck displayed an affinity for drawing and caricature from an early age. To begin his artistic education he relocated in 1878 to Munich, where he would settle for life. From 1881 to 1885 Stuck attended the Munich Academy.

In 1889 he exhibited his first paintings at the Munich Glass Palace, winning a gold medal for The Guardian of Paradise. In 1892 Stuck co-founded the Munich Secession, and also executed his first sculpture, Athlete. The next year he won further acclaim with the critical and public success of what is now his most famous work, the painting The Sin. Also during 1893, Stuck was awarded a gold medal for painting at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, and was appointed to a royal professorship. In 1895 he began teaching painting at the Munich Academy.
Having attained much fame by this time, Stuck was ennobled on December 9, 1905 and would receive further public honours from around Europe during the remainder of his life. He continued to be well respected among young artists as professor at the Munich Academy, even after his artistic styles became unfashionable. More on Franz von Stuck

Carl Larsson, 1853 - 1919, SWEDISH
THE LETTER, c. 1885
Oil on panel
45 by 54cm., 17¾ by 21¼in.
Private collection

Painted in September 1885, the present work captures all the delightful light-filled incident to be found in the drawing room in Lilla Hyttnäs in Sundborn, the cottage occupied at the time by Karin Larsson’s two great-aunts Ulla and Maria. The oil marks Carl Larsson’s first visit to the property, his and Karin's home-to-be, and records the traditional interior that he found there.
The prevailing style reflects the Gustavian taste of the day, as evident in the mahogany drawers and bureau, while Ulla, beautifully presented in her finely tailored dress, is perched on one of two Gustavian chairs engrossed in reading a letter, itself a traditional compositional pose. More on this painting

Maksymilian Gierymski, 1846-1874, POLISH
Oil on canvas laid on panel
48 by 80cm., 19 by 31½in.
Private collection

Painted circa 1872, the present work was inspired both by Maksymilian Gierymski’s personal experience as a Polish insurgent fighting the Russian forces in the January Uprising of 1863,  and by the landscapes of  his homeland, which he revisited with his brother Aleksander in the summers of 1870-72.
Gierymski was a Munich-based painter and draughtsman, and together with Jozef Brandt and his younger brother Aleksander one of the greatest  Polish representatives of the so-called Munich school. He was a precursor of realism in Polish painting of the second half of the 19th century, an artist capable of finding beauty and poetry in the everyday prose of life and the mundane reality of provincial towns, often depicting autumn or winter landscapes or village scenes that constituted backgrounds for tired soldiers passing through them, as in the present work. More
Leo Putz, 1869 - 1940, GERMAN
BACKSTAGE, c. 1905
Oil on canvas
207 by 226cm., 81½ by 89in.
Private collection
Painted in 1905, this monumental early work of cancan dancers at ease backstage is among Putz's most ambitious compositions.

Inspired by his stay in Paris, Backstage is a masterful evocation of the French capital's demi-monde that was the source of fascination to so many painters, most famously Toulouse Lautrec. Putz would have frequented Pigalle's many cabarets and café concerts, including the Moulin Rouge, Moulin de la Galette and the Folies Bergère, which were synonymous with the dancers like La Goulue (Louise Weber) and Jane Avril who performed there. More on this painting
Leo Putz (18 June 1869, in Merano – 21 July 1940, in Merano) was a Tyrolean painter. His work encompasses Art Nouveau, Impressionism and the beginnings of Expressionism. Figures, nudes and landscapes are his predominant subjects.
He began his studies at the age of sixteen at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich. His father then sent him to the Académie Julian in Paris. After military service, he returned to Munich and studied with Paul Hoecker. He opened his first studio in 1897. That same year, he became a member of the Munich Secession. He worked with the weekly magazine Jugend and many of his paintings were reproduced on the magazine's title page. During this time, he also worked as a commercial artist, creating many posters in Art Nouveau style and billboards for the Moderne Galerie München.
He became an honorary citizen of Bavaria in 1909; a prerequisite for becoming a Professor, which appointment he received that same year. Between 1909 and 1914, he spent his summers at Schloss Hartmannsberg near Chiemgau to practice plein-air painting. It was there that he created his best-known works; the two series known as the "Boat Pictures" and the "Bathers". 
He accepted an invitation to move to Brazil in 1929. At the request of Lúcio Costa, he took a professorship at the Escola Nacional de Belas Artes in 1931. During his stay, his colors took on a more tropical flavor and the exotic plant life became a favorite subject.  He returned to Germany in 1933.
He became an opponent of National Socialism and his art was labelled "degenerate". Beginning in 1936, he was repeatedly interrogated by the Gestapo and was forced to flee back to his native region, the South Tyrol. In 1937, he was officially banned from working in Germany. For the remainder of his life, he concentrated on painting castles, villages and benign landscapes.
He died in 1940. More on Leo Putz 

Joaquín Sorolla, 1863 - 1923, SPANISH
Oil on canvas
16 by 24cm., 6¼ by 9½in.
Private collection

Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (27 February 1863 – 10 August 1923) was born in Valencia. He and his younger sister were orphaned 2 years later when both their parents died from a cholera outbreak.

From an early age it was clear that Sorolla had a passion for art. Instead of academic study, the young Sorolla would spend his school days making drawings in his copybooks and by the age of 15 he was winning major prizes for his paintings at the Academy of Valencia.

By his mid 20s Sorolla had firmly established himself on the national stage and by 30 he had displayed paintings in salons and international exhibitions in Madrid, Paris, Venice, Munich, Berlin, and Chicago. By the turn of the century Sorolla was recognised as one of the western world’s greatest living artists, receiving gold medals in several major international exhibitions.

Over the first decade of the 20th century Sorolla’s output was incredible, both in quality and quantity. As well as painting many striking portraits, his new found wealth enabled him to devote himself more fully to painting where and what he wanted. Throughout this decade Sorolla was completing hundreds of paintings each year, often canvases of 2 metres or more painted direct on the beach.

In 1909, the Hispanic Society of America hosted an exhibition of Sorolla’s works in New York City. Of the 356 paintings on show a total of 195 were sold.

In 1911 Sorolla started work on a major commission to produce a series of vast panels celebrating the life and customs of the different regions of Spain for the Hispanic Society’s new headquarters in New York. This enormous and exhausting endeavour was to dominate the next 8 years of Sorolla's life, although he still managed to find time to paint some of his most stunning beach scenes.

Sorolla suffered a paralyzing stroke in 1920 and died three years later. More on Joaquín Sorolla 

Wilhelm Kray, 1828 - 1889, GERMAN
THE SIRENS, c. 1874
Oil on canvas
91.5 by 133.5cm., 36 by 52½in.
Private collection

According to Greek myths, sirens were powerful and erotic creatures, and many unsuspecting sailors would fall prey to their seductive beauty. The common belief was that they would devour sailors after their ships would crash into the rocks, as most men couldn't resist the temptation of their sweet melodies and angelic faces. More on The Fisherman and The Siren

Wilhelm Kray ( December 29, 1828 in Berlin – July 29, 1889 in Munich ) was a German portrait , genre and landscape painter and illustrator .

Kray worked as a goldsmith before 1848 . From 1848 he studied at the Royal Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin with Julius Schrader , Wilhelm Schirmer and Hermann Stilke . Between 1856 and 1872 he took part in the Berlin Academy exhibitions. In 1859/60 he was in Paris and visited the studio of Alexandre Cabanel and Paul Baudry . He then went back to Berlin, where he mainly worked as a portraitist. From 1867 to 1871 Kray was based in Rome. From there he made numerous trips to Naples. He became a member of the Deutscher Künstlerverein.  From 1878 he lived inVienna and took part in the international art exhibitions in the Munich Glass Palace from 1879 to 1888 . More on Wilhelm Kray

Maximilian Lenz, 1860-1948, AUSTRIAN
Oil on canvas
88 by 212cm., 34¾ by 83½in.
Private collection

Iduna, or Iðunn, is the god in Norse mythology associated with fertility and youth. As here, she is typically depicted bearing apples. More

Andreas Schelfhout
1787 - 1870
signed A. Schelfhout lower right
oil on canvas
35.5 by 46cm., 14 by 18in.

George Hendrik Breitner
1857 - 1923
signed G. H. Breitner lower right
oil on canvas
49 by 71cm., 19¼ by 28in.

Auguste Léveque
signed Levêque lower right
oil on canvas
82.5 by 132cm., 32½ by 52in.

Diyarbakirli Tahsin
signed Tahsin and in Arabic and dated 1919 lower right
oil on canvas
81 by 126.5cm., 32 by 49¾in.

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