View full screen - View 1 of Lot 780. Eugen von Blaas | A MAIDEN WITH A BASKET OF ROSES.
780

Eugen von Blaas | A MAIDEN WITH A BASKET OF ROSES

Estimate:

200,000

to
- 300,000 USD

Eugen von Blaas | A MAIDEN WITH A BASKET OF ROSES

Eugen von Blaas | A MAIDEN WITH A BASKET OF ROSES

Estimate:

200,000

to
- 300,000 USD

Lot sold:

615,000

USD

Eugen von Blaas

1843 - 1931

AUSTRIAN

A MAIDEN WITH A BASKET OF ROSES


signed Eugen von Blaas and dated 1900 (lower left)

oil on panel

50 1/2 by 24 3/4 in.

128.3 by 62.9 cm

The following condition report was kindly provided by Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc.: 


This large work on panel is in very good condition. The panel shows three original supports running horizontally across the reverse. The panel is flat. There is no instability or evidence that the panel had ever become unstable. The work is clean and varnished. There are some areas that read quite strongly under ultraviolet light in the fringe of the white skirt; these may be retouches but it is unclear what they address. Elsewhere, there are retouches along a vertical crack in the panel in the upper right. There are a few retouches in the red brick in the center of the left side, and in the shadows of the red stocking on the left foot. In the figure, there are some retouches in her blue skirt, basket and arms. A couple of cracks in the back of her neck have been retouched, and there are a few small retouches in the side of her face, center of her forehead and to the left of her mouth. The work should be hung in its current state.


This condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. It is not a full description of condition. Images of the lot provided may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the images may represent colors and shades which are different than the lot’s actual color and shades. This condition report may not make reference to all imperfections, restorations, or alterations. 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.

NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.

Born in Albano, Italy to the painter Carl von Blaas (1815-1894), Eugen von Blaas was encouraged to pursue his artistic talents from a young age. Von Blaas studied in Venice, where he learned to copy models and casts of classical sculpture, occasionally returning to Austria to help his father paint frescoes for the Arsenal in Vienna. He eventually settled in Venice permanently after his marriage to Paola Prina, whose fortune allowed the couple to have a lively social life and a palazzo on the Zattere. Most celebrated for being a painter of Venetian beauties, von Blaas brought his beloved Venice to life by staging dynamic, colorful compositions against the backdrop of the historic city. As the artist's biographer Thomas Wassibauer describes, “[von Blaas] contrasted the decaying grandeur of old Venetian stone with fresh flowers and fruit… his young people live their lives within the old walls of a still-important city, and become links in an apparently endless chain of generations who carry on the Venetian traditions and way of life” (Wassibauer, p. 19). The artist spared no detail in his paintings, and his technical abilities are evident in his rendering of sumptuous fabrics and fresh flowers. To some degree his compositions are fantasies: von Blaas constructed a world that is frozen in time. His figures, who are dressed in timeless, traditional costume, gossip, flirt, explore and experience what Wassibauer calls “harmless joie de vivre,” all the while blissfully unaware that Venice will continue to crumble and age and modern nineteenth-century society will continue to propel ever forward (Wassibauer, p. 20)


By the 1880s, von Blaas had begun to enlarge his canvases and incorporate more complex details into his compositions, culminating in large-scale vertical paintings, such as the present lot, by the turn of the century. A Maiden with a Basket of Roses, dated 1900, is an impressive panel and an exceptional example of one of von Blaas’ trademark figures. The model is posed as if the viewer has stumbled upon this flower-seller just as she is about to disappear down one of old Venice’s many hidden passageways. Her expression is at once charmingly mischievous and mysterious; she is not just a static model but one who tells a story. Of the artist’s young Venetians, Wassibauer writes, “[von Blaas’] portraits… are structured in a way which is both narrative and playful: his Venetian women have a seductive or melancholy look, or may be bold and challenging” (Wassibauer p. 17).