A portrait of Marianne Mechler signed and dated 'Franz von Stuck 1924' (lower right) oil on canvas 65 1/4 x 41in (165.7 x 104.1cm)
PROVENANCE: Franz Mechler (the sitter's husband); Sale, Rudolf Bangel G.M.B.H., Frankfurt, 28 April 1926, lot 35; by descent into the Mechler family; acquired from the above by the present owner.
Born in Lower Bavaria in 1863, Franz von Stuck studied in Munich and during his student years earned a living creating designs for decorative painting and illustrating periodicals. During the 1890s he played an important role in the art life of Munich; he was a founder of the Munich Secession in 1892, taught at the Akademie and he became a member in 1894 of the state commission charged with buying contemporary works at Munich exhibitions. His own work was influenced by the Swiss Symbolist artist Arnold Böcklin and mythological subjects continued to play an important part throughout his career.
Stuck was much in demand as a portrait painter; his success in portraying sensuous females of the classical world may have encouraged women to sit for the artist. Not much is known about the sitter of the present picture other than that she married several times and ended up a Baroness, however, as she stands before the viewer elegantly dressed in the latest fashion with a fur draped over her arm she subtly alludes to von Stuck's mythical heroines.
Included in this lot are nine photographs of the sitter (one framed) by Mannheim photographer Hermine Schindler-Klebusch, the 1926 auction catalogue and an early 20th century souvenir book of the Villa Franz von Stuck in Munich.