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Sale: 406 / Modern Art, June 08. 2013 in Munich Lot 18

Lot description
In der Badewanne II. 1911.
Oil on canvas.
Putz 544. Signed lower left. 64,5 x 60 cm (25,3 x 23,6 in).

Against his fathers wish Putz moved to Munich at the age of 16, to take first drawing lessons under his stepbrother Prof. Robert Poetzelberger. He then studied fine arts first at the Akademie in Munich and then, from 1891 to 1892, at the Académie Julian in Paris under Adolphe Bouguereau and Benjamin Constant. After returning from Paris Putz attended the studio class of the genre painter Paul Höcker. The Munich Secession was founded in 1892 and Putz frequently exhibited at the annual exhibition. A few years later, in 1899, Höcker's studio class founded the artist group "Scholle". Putz was one of its founding members. The group confronted the predominant academic style and Historicism with a new, temperamental painting style, which was influenced by Wilhelm Trübner.

With his female nudes Putz has created masterpieces in terms of coloring. The subject of an attractive nude washing herself in a small tub, has been depicted in a large number of oeuvres. Also, the Expressionists, above all Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, had recognized the appeal of this intimacy and interpreted it in their own sense. Leo Putz lovingly modeled the female nude with a broad stroke of the brush. The most important statement of his interpretation is the subtle interplay of light on the skin of the female nude, which, for being in the focus, dominates the composition. The German Late Impressionism, in the tradition of which works by Leo Putz from this period are to be seen, experienced an unusual swing of enthusiasm for the painter‘s subject in the years before the First World War, which finds its fulfillment in a delicacy of color differentiation that was never reached again. Leo Putz and his fellow painter Edward Cucuel dedicated much of their oeuvre of paintings to this.

Putz and his family returned to Gauting in Bavaria in 1923 when he was honoured with an honorary membership of the Bayerische Akademie der Schönen Künste (Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts). In 1929 Putz travelled to São Paulo, his first trip overseas. He and his family spent the following years in South America, travelling to Buenos Aires, Argentina and to the jungle in Bahia. His work was recognized in Mexico with an honorary professorship at the Escola Nacional de Bellas Artes in Rio. The time spent in South America had a significant influence on Putz' painting: southern landscapes and people populate his works, the palette is bright and colorful. In 1933 Putz once again returned to Gauting with his family. While he was honoured with a large exhibition at the Künstlerverein (Artist Society), Putz still felt the need to flee from the National Socialists as they prohibited him to continue painting in 1937 and dissolved the Secession and all artist groups in Munich in 1938. Leo Putz died on 21 July 1940 in his exile in Meran. He was buried in Gauting. [KD]

Leo Putz
In der Badewanne II, 1911.
Oil on canvas
€ 40,000 / $ 45,200
€ 79,300 / $ 89.608

(incl. 22% surcharge)

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