Property of a Lady
Franz von Stuck
1863 - 1928
signed FRANZ / VON / STUCK lower left
oil on panel, in the original 'Franz von Stuck' frame made by Georg Oberndorfer
Unframed: 83.5 by 33cm., 33 by 13in.
Framed: 89.5 by 62.5cm., 35¼ by 24½in.
The authenticity of this work has been confirmed by Albert Ritthaler.
This painting is in good condition.
The panel is flat and even. On the reverse, in the centre of the lower edge, a 5cm vertical hairline crack is visible however this does not appear to be visible on the front of the work. There is a small spot of paint flaking just above Medea's right foot and a couple of other tiny spots. Under ultra-violet light the artist's pigments and typical use of glazes give the work a somewhat uneven appearance, however there do not appear to be any notable retouchings.
The panel and frame are stamped 'George Oberndorfer Kunstischlerei, Munchen' on the reverse
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.
Painted circa 1925.
In Greek mythology, Medea was an enchantress who helped Jason, leader of the Argonauts, to obtain the Golden Fleece from her father, King Aeëtes of Colchis. Euripides’ play takes up the story at a later stage, when the couple live in Corinth, and Jason deserts Medea for the daughter of King Creon of Corinth; in revenge, Medea murders her two sons by Jason as well as Creon and his daughter.
Stuck, influenced by the texts of Sigmund Freud, used Greek myth as a vehicle on to which to transpose his preoccupation – one he shared with other fin de siècle Symbolist artists including Gustave Moreau, Félicien Rops and Fernand Khnopff - with the idea of woman as femme fatale: 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.
From 1878 to 1881 Stuck attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich. From 1881 to 1885 he studied at the Munich Akademie, where he was taught by Wilhelm Lindenschmit and Ferdinand Löfftz. During his student years he made notable contributions to the humorous Munich periodical Fliegende Blätter and to the Viennese serial publications Allegorien und Embleme and Karten und Vignetten. These did much to establish his reputation as both a skilled and a witty draughtsman.
During the 1890s Stuck was both at the forefront of the avant-garde and an establishment figure in Munich art circles: in 1892 he was one of the founders of the Munich Secession, and in 1895 a member of the new artists’ association Pan, which published a journal of the same name. Works by Stuck such as his allegorical painting Sin provoked an outcry when exhibited. From 1893, however, he taught at the Munich Akademie, and in 1894 he became a member of the state commission charged with buying contemporary works at Munich exhibitions.
A significant element with a great many of Stuck’s paintings was his provision of specially designed frames, often inscribed with the work’s title and serving to link the image with its surroundings as part of a decorative whole. A concern for the matching of art and setting led Stuck to build a large villa for himself in Munich (1897–8), now a museum, for which he provided architectural plans and designs for both decoration and furniture.