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Sale: 484 / Art of the 19th Century, May 24. 2019 in Munich Lot 47

Lot description
Faun und Bacchusknabe. 1905.
Oil on canvas.
Voss 273. Signed and dated in lower right. Verso with old labels, partly fragmentarily preserved and with hand-written inscriptions and numbers. 91 x 91 cm (35.8 x 35.8 in) , octagonal.
Im Original-Künstlerrahmen.
- In terms of composition and execution, this is a unique version of this theme in Franz von Stuck's creation
- In the original artist frame
- From the Collection Jerome Friedmann, Hamburg
- This painting is a true museum piece

PROVENANCE: In possession of the artist (until at least April 1906).
Galerie Jerome Friedmann, Hamburg ("Privatgalerie", until 1912).
Rudolph Lepke's Kunst-Auctions-Haus Berlin: Galerie J. Friedmann Hamburg. 'Neunzig Gemälde erster Meister unserer Zeit'; auction on October 29, 1912, lot 20 (“Die Traube”, plate 14, verso of the stretcher with a cut-out from the auction catalog. Sold from the aforementioned collection for a price of 5,850 Mark).
Private collection Meyer or private collection Schweng (acording to annotation in aforementioned catalog, copy of RKD, The Hague).
Private collection Heseler, Munich.
Private collection North Rhine-Westphalia (acquired from the collection Heseler).

EXHIBITION: Internationale Kunstausstellung, Munich 1905, no. 1242 ("Wandfüllung").
Internationale Kunstausstellung at Kunsthalle Bremen, Kunstverein Bremen, mid February to mid April 1906, no. 330 (verso with fragmentarily preserved exhibition label).
Bayerische Jubiläums-Ausstellung, Nuremberg 1906, no. 429.

The deep fascination of Franz von Stuck for the world of classical antiquity and its mythology is expressed in our work. The excitingly designed octagonal painting shows a faun that feeds the young Bacchus the juice of freshly pressed grapes. The half upright posture and the boy's raised hands reveal his lust for the sweet juice, which is to be poured directly into his wide-open mouth. The two figures are placed in the very foreground of the image space and their bodies’ curves are almost perfectly in line with the octagonal format. Only small sections of the deep blue background remain open and add a relief-like effect to the composition. At the same time, the narrow pictorial space emphasizes the different corporeality of the sinewy-wiry faun with his sun-tanned skin and the wild-scraggy leg hair in comparison with the youthful softness of the brightly shining, naked child's body. While the depiction of fauns as lovers of nymphs, mermaids and maenads is a major theme in Franz von Stuck's work, the combination with a child is less common. Here it is, above all, the shepherd god Pan in the role of the music teacher, a motif Stuck rendered on several occasions (cf.Voss 274, 366 - 368, 369). However, the depiction of a faun as a caring-playful cupbearer of the young God of the Wine is less common in Stuck's oeuvre of paintings. The artist prepared the motif in a chalk drawing and an oil study on panel. As the exhibition catalog for the International Art Exhibition in Munich in 1905 shows, the work in the original frame was conceived as a "Wandfüllung” (wall panel) as an old label on the back of the frame also specifies. The opulent golden frame with cymatium and bead and reel as subtle decorative elements turn the octagonal picture format into a square, which could make it a building block for a wall paneling. For the framing of his pictures Franz von Stuck usually collaborated with the cabinet-maker Georg Oberndorfer and the gilder Hans lrlbacher, whose workshop label is fragmentarily preserved on the back of the frame. To Franz von Stuck the framing of his works was not only the result of an exploration of the arts and crafts (also an important postulation of the Secession), but an expression of a certain view of the artwork as a whole. The shimmering gold of the frame supports the color effect of the image and serves its manifestation in space: image, frame and space work together as a Gesamtkunstwerk. How felicitously this was realized in our work is underlined by the fact that Stuck added "von" to his artist signature after he had been ennobled in 1906. Additionally, the early provenance of the painting alsounderlines this opinion, as it was part of the Hamburg private collection of Jerome Friedmann until 1912. The contemporary description can be read as an apt appreciation of the work offered here: "One of our richest collections of modern art. [.] The collection spans the entire development of modern painting [.]. It is characterized […] by a fine sense for seminal accomplishments es and an unerring judgment for quality " (quote from E. Hakon, in: Kunst und Künstler 11.1913, pp. 67f.). [FS]
Franz von Stuck
Faun und Bacchusknabe, 1905.
Oil on canvas
Post auction sale: € 100,000 / $ 113,000

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Franz von Stuck - Faun und Bacchusknabe - Frame image
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Franz von Stuck - Faun und Bacchusknabe -
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