6
6

PROPERTY FROM A GERMAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Franz von Stuck
GERMAN
THE DRAGON SLAYER
ZU LOS SPRINGEN
6

PROPERTY FROM A GERMAN PRIVATE COLLECTION

Franz von Stuck
GERMAN
THE DRAGON SLAYER
ZU LOS SPRINGEN

19th Century European Paintings

|
London

Franz von Stuck
1863 - 1928
GERMAN
THE DRAGON SLAYER
signed and dated FRANZ / VON / STUCK / 1913 lower right
oil on panel
135 by 126cm., 53¼ by 49½in.
Zustandsbericht lesen Zustandsbericht lesen

We are grateful to Albert Ritthaler for his assistance in cataloguing this work.

Provenienz

Curt Berger, Leipzig
Acquired in Leipzig by the grandfather of the present owner in the late 1960s; thence by descent

Ausgestellt

Stuttgart, Grosse Kunstausstellung, 1913, no. 65
Munich, Secessionausstellung, 1914, no. 236

Literatur

Die Kunst für Alle, vol. 28, 1912/13, p. 519
'Kunstchronik', Zeitschrift für bildende Kunst, Neue Folge, Leipzig, vol. 24, 1912-13, p. 522
Hermann Tafel, 'Grosse Kunstausstellung in Stuttgart', in Die Kunst, Munich, 1913, vol. 27, p. 519, discussed
Die Kunst für Alle, vol. 31, 1915/16, p. 2, illustrated, p. 9, mentioned
Fritz von Ostini, 'Neue Arbeiten von Franz von Stuck', in Die Kunst, Munich, 1916, vol. 33, p. 2, illustrated; p. 9, described
Heinrich Voss, Franz von Stuck 1863-1928. Werkkatalog der Gemälde, Munich, 1973, p. 195, illustrated; p. 301, catalogued, no. 430/79

Katalognotizen

The 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.

Whichever myth the artist intended, The Dragon Slayer is shrouded in an unquestionably erotic aura which is typical for Stuck's mythologizing work. As in others of his paintings, the original meaning of the story, the fight against the dragon and the victory of good over evil, has been replaced by something much more modern for Stuck's time: the relationship between the sexes. The dragon, in former iconographic tradition the main motif, is here relegated, quite literally, to the side lines, while the focus is on the figures' embrace.

Influenced by the texts of Sigmund Freud, Stuck often depicted woman as dangerous, independent and predatory. This is probably most obvious in his depictions of the sphinx, however the subtext is very much present in this painting. While the man's attention is solely focused on the woman as he holds her protectively, her gaze is enigmatically outward towards the viewer. 

19th Century European Paintings

|
London