View full screen - View 1 of Lot 511. Portrait of an African Man.
511

Franz von Matsch

Portrait of an African Man

Estimate:

12,000 to - 18,000 USD

Franz von Matsch

Franz von Matsch

Portrait of an African Man

Portrait of an African Man

Estimate:

12,000 to - 18,000 USD

Lot sold:

32,760

USD

Franz von Matsch

Austrian

1861 - 1942

Portrait of an African Man


signed Matsch. F. (upper right)

oil on canvas

canvas: 25¾ by 21 in.; 65.4 by 53.3 cm

framed: 28¼ by 33¼ in.; 71.7 by 84 cm

Unlined. Very faint, finely patterned craquelure visible in the darker pigments. Visible repair to center of figure's chest corresponds to a patch on the reverse. Under UV light, a few scattered, finely applied dots and dashes in figure's neck, lip and in his cheeks are visible.


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.

Private Collection, Vienna, Austria
Shepherd Gallery, New York
Winthrop K. Edey, New York
Acquired by the present owner from the above
Franz von Matsch met the brothers Gustav and Ernst Klimt during their studies at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Vienna.  The trio shared a studio and by 1880 launched a business, the Künstler Compagnie (The Artist's Company), which was perfectly positioned to respond to the city’s economic boom and a surge in building construction. The artists began to receive commissions for the decoration of grand, private residences such as the Villa Hermes, which they decorated with scenes from Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (1884-5), and public spaces, like the Burgtheater and its frescoes of the history of theater (1886) and the Kunsthistorisches Museum, with forty paintings illustrating art history from ancient Egypt through the Renaissance (1890-1). 

The vibrant, intricate decorative campaigns demonstrated their academic training and the influence of Vienna’s most important artist of the era, Hans Makart, who made opulent, complex paintings from history, literature, and allegory.  While these commissions established the artists’ reputation and earned them accolades, in 1894 Matsch left the studio in part due to Gustav Klimt’s increasing disinterest with academic painting and turned to teaching at the Kunstgewerbeschule (Vienna School of Arts and Crafts). 

The present, enigmatic portrait aligns with Matsch’s bold and brilliant work still on display at the Burgtheater and Vienna’s museums; while it has yet to be determined when it was painted, the artist’s later turn to landscapes and still-lifes suggests it is more closely aligned with his earlier projects. Matsch’s subject commands the viewer’s eye and compels further study and appreciation of its artist.