From Anker to Zao Wou-Ki

From Anker to Zao Wou-Ki

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 24. Bildnis einer Italienerin, Portrait d'une Italienne, 1869.

Albert Anker

Bildnis einer Italienerin, Portrait d'une Italienne, 1869

Lot Closed

December 15, 01:23 PM GMT


150,000 - 200,000 CHF

Lot Details


Albert Anker

1831 - 1910

Bildnis einer Italienerin, Portrait d'une Italienne, 1869

Oil on canvas

Signed and dated lower left

61.5 x 50.5 cm (unframed); 78 x 67 cm (framed)

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Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot (by 1875)
Madame Lemaistre, Paris (by descent)
Private collection, Paris
Kornfeld und Klipstein, Berne, 27th - 29th May 1964, lot 12
Acquired from the above sale by the present owner 
Robert Meister, Albert Anker und seine Welt. Briefe, Dokumente, Bilder, Berne, 1981, p. 60-62, ill.
Sandor Kuthy, Therese Bhattacharya-Stettler, Albert Anker. Werkkatalog der Gemälde und Ölstudien, Berne, 1995, p. 105, no. 133, ill.

Anker first visited Italy in 1861 travelling to Milan, Venice, Mantua, Modena, Bologna and Florence accompanied by his friend and fellow painter François-Émile Ehrmann. Ehrmann and Anker had studied together in the studio of Charles Gleyre in Paris. The two young artists studied the major Italian art collections, copying works by Renaissance masters such as Giovanni Bellini and Titian.

The portrait shows a young Italian girl gazing wistfully out of the picture plane to the right. Details of her local costume and coral necklace are faithfully depicted with the repetition of red providing a unifying element to the composition. Clearly based on a real-life model, the work is close in feeling to the Deutschrömer tradition of German artists such as Anselm Feuerbach, Hans von Marées and Arnold Böcklin and their predilection for Italian art and subject matter. However, Anker’s approach is less idealistic and classicizing than his German contemporaries. It is more down to earth, in keeping with the rest of his œuvre, which almost exclusively depicts Swiss rural communities in interior settings.

A watercolour by Anker of an Italian Woman in a similar pose, seated and looking to the right, was sold at Sotheby’s Zurich, 29 November 2004, lot 15.