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Sale: 455 / Art of the 19th Century, Nov. 24. 2017 in Munich Lot 54

Lot description
Scherzo. 1909.
Oil on cardboard.
Cf. Voss 339 and 340. Lower right signed and dated. 31.8 x 34.8 cm (12.5 x 13.7 in).
Verso with various hand-written inscriptions and numbers. With original artist frame. Oil study for the large-size painting of the same name, today in Gallerie d'Arte Moderna des Civico Museo Revoltella in Triest (Voss 340). [CB][CB].

With a photo expertise from Albert Ritthaler, Hamburg, dated 9 October 2017.

PROVENANCE: Galerie Gunzenhauser, Munich (1981).
Private collection Southern Germany.

EXHIBITION: Franz von Stuck. Ölbilder - Zeichnungen - Skulpturen, Galerie Gunzenhauser, Munich, 1st October to 3rd December 1981, cat. no. 9, illu. p. 4.

LITERATURE: Claudia Gross-Roath, Das Frauenbild bei Franz von Stuck (Diss. Bonn 1998), Weimar 1999, p. 221 (no illu.).

Called up: November 24, 2017 - ca. 16.39 h +/- 20 min.

"The pans, nymphs and centaurs that act in Stuck‘s paintings play a minor role in Greek mythology. […] Pan is the god of shepherds. Sexual potency is his most distinguished characteristic.[…] The pan in Stuck‘s works also embodies sexual freedom. However, to Stuck it is not about addressing issues of sexuality oppressed by cultural constraints, instead he approaches pan from an aesthetic perspective. His pan figures behave the way schoolboys or amorous teenagers would if there were no social conventions that deterred them from doing so. Unlike it was the case in ancient days, to Stuck it is not about an adoration of natural powers, sexuality and fertility, forces to which man had to surrender and which, owed to their omnipotence and inscrutability, were conveyed to the world of gods and forces of nature. Stuck portrays Pan as a sociable person, always keen on fun, erotic frolics and amorous adventures. He looses his solitary character, which was why he avoided people, and is more of a modern sexual libertine. This way pan, on the one hand, keeps the repute of his 'intemperate lust', which made him a symbol of pre-social sexuality, on the other hand his conduct also makes him a member of modern society. In most of Stuck‘s pictures pan plays the role of the lover or the conqueror, while the nymphs are his sexual partners […]. They are usually the erotic playmates of the amorous pan. The picture 'Scherzo' from 1909 is a good example of Stuck‘s modern conception of such a play. […] Neither the human surroundings in which the ‘Scherzo‘ is staged nor the nymphs‘ bearing, as real nymphs they would not need clothing, allow an unambiguous interpretation of the picture as an expression of an ancient lust for life. The protagonists, by the same token, can not just be seen as rompish people of those days, as an interpretation of that kind is hampered by the mythological disguise. The point that it is about both makes the picture ambivalent. The same theme, staged in ancient setting and with ancient players, would have been alien to the observer, like an irretrievably lost world that can only be regretted. The alternative which would have been to place the scene in a boudoir with upper class ladies and gentlemen, would have been seen as pornography which was socially not acceptable. Stuck‘s attempt to mediate between these two extreme positions leads to a model of a sexual utopia. His pictures show a world in which sexuality has liberated people from repression. […] Mythological creatures in Stuck‘s pictures have two functions, one the one hand, their modern interpretation enables today‘ s observer to relate to them, on the other hand they help to identify the picture‘ s content as utopia." (Heinrich Voss, Franz von Stuck (1863-1928). Catalog of paintings with an introduction into his Symbolism, Reutlingen 1973, pp. 16f.).
Franz von Stuck
Scherzo, 1909.
Oil on cardboard
€ 30,000 - 40,000

$ 35,100 - 46,800


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Franz von Stuck - Scherzo - Frame image
Frame image
Franz von Stuck - Scherzo -
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Regular taxation:
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Resale right apportionment:
Objects made by artists who have not died at least 70 years ago are subject to a resale right apportionment of 1.5% plus statutory sales tax.
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