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217

PROPERTY FROM A SWISS PRIVATE COLLECTION

Leo Putz
AUSTRIAN
DER ZAUBERGARTEN (THE ENCHANTED GARDEN)
JUMP TO LOT
217

PROPERTY FROM A SWISS PRIVATE COLLECTION

Leo Putz
AUSTRIAN
DER ZAUBERGARTEN (THE ENCHANTED GARDEN)
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings

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London

Leo Putz
1869-1940
AUSTRIAN
DER ZAUBERGARTEN (THE ENCHANTED GARDEN)
signed and dated Leo Putz 06 lower right; titled Zaubergarten on the reverse
oil on panel
80 by 74cm., 31½ by 29in.
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Provenance

Kunstsalon Emil Richter, Dresden

Exhibited

Nuremberg, Die Scholle (Munich-based artists' association founded in 1899 under Professor Paul Hoecker, of which Putz was a member), 1906
Berlin, Kunstsalon Keller und Reiner, circa 1906, no. 1582

Literature

Dr Georg Hirth ed., Jugend. Münchener illustrierte Wochenzeitschrift für Kunst und Leben, no. 48, 19 November 1907, p. 5, illustrated
Helmut Putz, Leo Putz-Werkverzeichnis in zwei Bänden, Gauting, 1994, vol. I, p. 97, no. 1407, illustrated; vol. II, p. 782, no. 1407, catalogued & illustrated

Catalogue Note

Painted in 1906, this early Symbolist work depicts exotic female nudes, half human, half peacock being admired by a comical group of moustached seals. The work was included by Putz in the 1906 Scholle exhibition, and published in the avant garde magazine Die Jugend the following year. It is a reprisal of the first version of this subject that he painted in 1905 (see Putz, 1994, no. 1406, p. 781) and forms part of a canon of fantastical works depicting creatures half human half animal, snails, birds and wild cats. Compared to the 1905 version the present work varies in its colouration and is more finely painted, displaying more intricate detail in the feathers of the central female peacock and the group of seals.

Despite its symbolist overtones it is likely that Der Zaubergarten was inspired by Putz’s stay in Paris and his encounter with the glamorous demi-monde of the French capital  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 exotic dancers like La Goulue (Louise Weber) and Jane Avril who performed there.

Putz was born in Meran (modern day Merano in Italy), then part of Austria-Hungary, but as a boy he moved with his family to Munich. He studied at the Munich Academy, and from 1891-92 at the Académie Julian in Paris under William Bouguereau and Jean-Joseph Benjamin-Constant. Despite his academic training, Putz was far more interested in the avant-garde subjects and impressionistic forms of expression being pioneered by his contemporaries, particularly Gauguin and Renoir, which would inform his own work.

On his return to Munich, Putz exhibited at the Munich Secession in 1895 alongside Franz von Stuck, and with Franz Erler formed the avant garde artistic group Die Scholle. He went on to become a Secessionist in Berlin and Vienna, where Gustav Klimt's figural painting had a profound influence on his work. Putz's individualistic style in turn inspired a succeeding generation of German painters, including Lovis Corinth and Edward Cucuel.

19th Century European Paintings

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London