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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Franz von Stuck
GERMAN
IPHIGENIA IN AULIS
Estimate
100,000150,000
JUMP TO LOT
50

PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION

Franz von Stuck
GERMAN
IPHIGENIA IN AULIS
Estimate
100,000150,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

19th Century European Paintings

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London

Franz von Stuck
1863 - 1928
GERMAN
IPHIGENIA IN AULIS
signed FRANZ / STUCK lower right
oil on canvas
84 by 123cm., 33 by 48½in.
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The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Albert Ritthaler. 

Provenance

Galerie Neupert, Zurich, no. 148 (label on the stretcher)
Private collection, Switzerland
Sale: Koller Auktionen, Zurich, 20 June 2008, lot 3203
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner

Catalogue Note

This stage-like composition work shows Iphigenia about to be sacrificed to the goddess Artemis by her father Agamemnon, king of Mycene. At the last moment, Artemis instead rescues Iphigenia and appoints her a high priestess at her temple. Antiquity and mythology held a huge fascination for Stuck, less as evocations of the classical past than as vehicles to express human character and emotion.

Iphigenia is shrouded in an unquestionably erotic aura which is typical for Stuck's mythologizing work. Typically, the original meaning of the story, about the power of the gods and moralising over right and wrong, has been replaced by a much more contemporaneous theme prevalent in Stuck's day: the relationship between the sexes, and woman as the temptress, symbolised here by the figure of Iphigenia on the right and the male masks on the left.

Influenced by Symbolist preoccupations with the femme fatale, 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 ostensibly surrendering herself to Artemis, Iphigenia's pose and expression could just as well describe a moment of sexual ecstasy, her power over the opposite sex laid bare by the emasculated hollow mask on the ground watching her. 

19th Century European Paintings

|
London