FRANZ VON STUCK
1863 - 1928
signed FRANZ/STUCK (center right)
oil on canvas laid down on panel
23¼ by 16⅞ in.
59.1 by 42.9 cm
We would like to thank Albert Ritthaler for kindly confirming the authenticity of this lot.
The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: This work is restored and should be hung in its current state. The panel is unbroken and shows original vertical battens on the left and right. The painting is clean and varnished. An old varnish had become slightly uneven in the lower right; there are three horizontal lines of retouching to address this, and another horizontal line in the lower center. The arm holding the bowl in the lower left has received a thin glaze to better match the tonality of the remainder of the picture. There is also one small retouching in the lower sky to the right of the bowl.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD “AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE.
Sale: Bolland & Marotz, Bremen, June 20, 1992, lot 1080A
Acquired at the above sale
Munich, Internationale Kunstausstellung "Secession," 1900, no. 302a
Die Kunst unserer Zeit: Eine Chronik des Modernen Kunstlebens, Munich, 1900, vol. IX, illustrated opposite p. 154
Fritz von Ostini, Franz von Stuck, Das Gesamtwerk, Munich, 1909, p. 97, illustrated
Heinrich Voss, Franz von Stuck 1863-1928, Werkkatalog der Gemälde, Munich, 1973, p. 282, no. 204/227, illustrated p. 144
Antiquity and mythology provided an endless source of inspiration for Franz von Stuck and rather than paint evocations of the classical past, his idiosyncratic interpretations engage a distinctly modern, psychological intensity. At the Fin-de-siècle, writers, artists and scientists were interested in the desires and anxieties of the human psyche, as well as questioning society’s moral, religious and spiritual constructions. Stuck’s art is connected and runs parallel to the influential work of his contemporaries Richard Wagner, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud, whose redefinition of sexuality and interpretation of dreams were reflected in Stuck’s wide-ranging oeuvre.
Dionysus, or Bacchus (synonymous with the name of his followers, the Bacchae), was the son of Zeus and inspired festivals and worship throughout the Mediterranean, in part for bringing mortals the gift of wine and its release from cares. He embodied the relentless energy that drives growth and transformation and was the god of epiphanies, arriving unannounced to overturn the bounds of daily life. He appears frequently throughout centuries of Greek and Roman art, initially shown as a powerful bearded figure in the sixth and early fifth century B.C., and is later depicted as a beautiful, languid youth. From ancient reliefs of sarcophagi and Attic vase painting to oils by Renaissance masters to contemporary art in the twenty-first century, the erotic charge of Dionysus has inspired artists for thousands of years, his symbolism almost universally understood.
Michelangelo’s marble sculpture Bacchus (1496-97, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, Florence, fig. 1), shows an inebriated god, teetering with rolling eyes. The Italian Baroque painter, Caravaggio, used the image of Bacchus to produce iconic, autobiographical paintings, through Young Sick Bacchus (1593-94, Borghese Gallery and Museum, Rome), Young Boy with Basket of Fruit (1593, Borghese Gallery and Museum, Rome) and Bacchus (1598, Uffizi Gallery, Florence, fig. 2), whose young figure smiles coyly at the viewer. Stuck’s interpretation in the present work is similarly inviting, and does not shy away from the seductive influence of the god Dionysus.