indistinctly signed 'A. Feuerbach' (on his cloak, lower right)
oil on canvas
15 x 1038 in. (38.1 x 26.4 cm.)
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Lot Essay

Anselm Feuerbach was born in Speyer in southern Germany in 1829, the son of archaeologist Josepf Anselm Feuerbach and the grandson of the famed legal scholar Paul Johann Ritter von Feuerbach.
He began his artistic career in 1845 at the Düsseldorf Academy under the tutelage of Johann Wilhelm Schirmer, Wilhelm von Schadow and Carl Sohn. In 1848, he moved on to the Munich Academy, but he grew dissatisfied with the faculty and together with a group of fellow students traveled to Antwerp to continue his studies with Gustav Wappers. From 1851 to 1854 the young artist studied in Paris with Gustave Doré. In 1854, with funding provided by the Grand Duke Frederick of Baden, Feuerbach traveled to Venice, where he fell under the spell of the Venetian colorists. After a short spell in Florénce, Feuerbach moved on to Rome, where he remained until 1873, when he became a professor of history painting at the academy in Vienna. In 1862, during his stay in Venice, Feuerbach met Count Adolf Friedrich von Schack, who offered him financial support in return for copies of Italian Old Masters. Through Schack he met Arnold Böcklin and Hans von Marées. These three artists’ preference for Italy over Germany earned them the name ‘Deutsch-Römer’.
The present work, although undated, probably depicts the artist in his thirties and is painted with all the confidence of an artist coming into his prime. Self-portraits appear quite frequently in the artist’s oeuvre, and the present work is a straightforward, realistic treatment, enlivened by the rich orchestration of the dark colors of the artist’s unruly hair, the deep claret of his coat and the nuanced grey of the background. His sideways glance is characteristic of the self-portraits; rarely does the artist look directly at the viewer, but often directs his glance downward or to the side. The underlying draftsmanship is solid, and the modeling of the artist’s facial features captures perfectly the temperament of this extremely talented and thoughtful artist.

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