Sale: 532 / 19th Century Art, Dec. 10. 2022 in Munich Lot 346

 

346
Franz von Stuck
Bildnis der Tochter Mary, Um 1916.
Oil on panel
Estimate:
€ 40,000 / $ 37,600
Sold:
€ 112,500 / $ 105,750

(incl. surcharge)
Bildnis der Tochter Mary. Um 1916.
Oil on panel.
Voss 475. Signed in lower right. Verso with the stamp of 'Gebrüder Oberndorfer', Munich. 59.5 x 51.5 cm (23.4 x 20.2 in).
In the original Irlbacher frame (verso with two labels).
• The Munich artist Stuck was the master of mythologic scenes and portrait art
• From early on, his only daughter Mary was his favorite motif, of which he made a great variety of successful portraits
• In this work Stuck stages the 20 year old with reduced yet strong means of composition as an elegant and cultivated young lady
• One of the last Mary portraits before she married Albert Heilmann
.

PROVENANCE: Piccadilly Gallery, London.
(with the label on the reverse)
Private collection Great Britain (acquired from the above in 1974).

EXHIBITION: Franz von Stuck 1863-1938, Piccadilly Gallery, London, March 26 - May 4, 1974, cat.no. 18 (with illu.).

LITERATURE: Neumeister KG, vorm. Münchener Kunstversteigerungshaus Adolf Weinmüller, Munich, auction On June 20 - 22, 1968, no. 1988 (with illu. plate 97).
Franz von Stuck und die Photographie, ed. by Josef A. Schmoll et al, ex.cat. Museum Villa Stuck, Munich 1996, frontispiece and cat. no. 239: Photograph from the estate.

The only biological daughter of Franz von Stuck, Mary was the result of a love affair with Anna Maria Brandmaier (1875-1944), a waitress at Café Luitpold who also posed as model for the painting “Sin”. In the absence of children from Stuck’s 1897 marriage to the wealthy widow Mary Lindpainter (1865-1929), the couple obtained the right to adopt Mary from Prince Regent Luitpold. Stuck painted portraits of his cherished daughter throughout his entire artistic career. Among other works, Mary is represented in the painted ceiling of the Villa Stuck music room featuring a starry night sky. In 1917, Mary married Albert Heilmann of the Heilmann & Littmann construction company, which had built both the Stuck’s villa and the “New Studio” in the period 1914-15. With Stuck devoting his attention primarily to his grandchildren after his daughter’s marriage, our painting is one of the last portraits of Mary. Created at the beginning of her married life, it marks a significant turning point in the relationship between father and daughter. In this portrait, the typically young, playful child portrayed in fancy dress has become a young adult. Playing with his own unmistakable Symbolist pathos, Stuck shows his daughter in a demure yet self-assured poise. Mary is seen reclining over the armrest of a red chair, which the artist himself had designed for the furnishings of the Villa Stuck and which also appears in other portraits of women. Her engagement ring is clearly visible on her elegantly poised hand. Mary’s forward-leaning stance creates a sense of space that is quite unusual for Stuck. As a whole, the general composition gives the impression of a moment in time. The chance discovery of an exceptionally large collection of photographs during a review of the estate in the cellar of the Villa Stuck in 1968 revealed that Stuck actually used photographs, mostly taken by himself or his wife Mary, as models for his portraits. Further paper prints and sketches give an indication how the artist worked directly with the photographs. Even the great painters of his time, for instance Degas and Manet in France, used photography as a tool. Despite these useful tools, however, Stuck focused on artistic elegance and decorative effect rather than the precise photorealistic portrayal of his models. In this simple half-profile view of Mary, he achieves this by foregoing any complicated details, thus creating room for a soft, almost sweet harmony. Following a Symbolist-mythic approach, Stuck has his daughter emerge dramatically into a serene twilight, coming into view from a dark background that almost merges with her hat. [CS]



346
Franz von Stuck
Bildnis der Tochter Mary, Um 1916.
Oil on panel
Estimate:
€ 40,000 / $ 37,600
Sold:
€ 112,500 / $ 105,750

(incl. surcharge)