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PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Leo Putz
GERMAN
HINTER DEN KULISSEN (BEHIND THE SCENES)
JUMP TO LOT
31

PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN

Leo Putz
GERMAN
HINTER DEN KULISSEN (BEHIND THE SCENES)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings including German, Austrian & Central European Paintings, The Orientalist Sale, Spanish Painting and The Scandinavian Sale

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Leo Putz
1869 - 1940
GERMAN
HINTER DEN KULISSEN (BEHIND THE SCENES)
signed and dated Leo Putz 05 lower left
oil on canvas
207 by 226cm., 81½ by 89in.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Dr. Ruth Stein.

Provenance

Private Collection, Czech Republic
Sale: Sotheby's London, 27 June 2007, lot 61
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Exhibited

Munich, Internationale Ausstellung im Glaspalast, 1905

Literature

Internationale Kunstausstellung München, exh. cat., Munich, 1905, p. 549
Wilhelm Michel, Leo Putz-ein deutscher Künstler der Gegenwart, Leipzig, 1908, pl. 35
Helmut Putz, Leo Putz-Werkverzeichnis in zwei Bänden, vol. II, Gauting, 1994, p. 786, no. 1434, illustrated

Catalogue Note

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, Hinter den Kulissen 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.

As the title of the painting suggests, Putz affords the viewer a privileged behind-the-scenes glimpse of five young performers during a short interval between acts. The raking yellow light penetrating through the slit in the curtain is in stark contrast to the intimate womanly camaraderie that is the subject of the painting. The two girls in the centre are fully costumed and ready to emerge on to the stage, relieving the three undressed women. In a twist of dramatic irony, one girl steals a peek at the assembled audience beyond the curtain, unaware that she is herself the subject of the viewer's gaze, a device Putz no doubt borrowed from Edgar Degas.

Putz records two studies for the present work, a gouache and an oil (see Helmut Putz, nos. 1432 and 1433).

19th Century European Paintings including German, Austrian & Central European Paintings, The Orientalist Sale, Spanish Painting and The Scandinavian Sale

|
London