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618

Maximilian Pirner

The Annunciation

Property of an East Coast Collector

Maximilian Pirner

Maximilian Pirner

The Annunciation

The Annunciation

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Maximilian Pirner

Czech

1853 - 1924

The Annunciation 


initialed and dated M. P. 95 (center left)

pastel on canvas

canvas: 30 1/2 by 42 1/4 in.;77.5 by 107.5 cm

framed: 39 1/8 by 50 3/4 in.; 99.5 by 128.5 cm

The canvas is lined. The applied media remains fresh. Slight foxing in the upper left corner and minor surface rubbing in places. Pin holes in corners. Minor frame abrasion to all edges.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. 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.
Sale: Peter Karbstein, Düsseldorf, 28 March 1990, lot 198

Boetticher, Malerwerke d. 19. Jh. (2. Teil), S. 279

Vollmer, Thieme Becker, S. 86

Benezit, S. 497

L. Hevesi, Ostl. Kunst (1903), S. 310 (3894-22)

Czech artist Maximilian Pirner was a celebrated member of the Vienna Secession, an art movement closely related to Art Nouveau that was formed in 1897 by a group of Austrian painters, graphic artists, sculptors, and architects including Gustav Klimt.

In this ethereal pastel, Pirner sets the Annunciation in a serene, walled outdoor garden. The Virgin Mary and Angel Gabriel are dressed in diaphanous garments and delicately posed to convey an elegant encounter: Gabriel raises his right hand as if to speak and holds a lily in his left while Mary touches an unfurled scroll with one hand and rests the other on her chest, as if to both read and receive the sacred message. Sinuous lines enhanced by the soft sensuality of the pastel medium register Pirner's interest in and adoption of Symbolist aesthetics while the composition recalls early Renaissance works Pirner saw first-hand around 1883 when he visited Italy.

Pirner turned to religious subjects throughout the 1880s and particularly while designing and painting decorative cycles for The Church of St. Wenceslas in Prague's Smíchov district and The Church of St. Cyril and Methodius in Prague's Karlín district (1887-1888).

We would like to thank Dr. Sarka Leubnerova for her kind assistance in preparing this note.