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Gabriel von Max, Botaniker

Gabriel von Max, Botaniker (The Botanists) (after 1900), oil on canvas [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Jul 9-Oct 30] Frye Art Museum, Charles and Emma Frye Collection

Gabriel von Max: Be-tailed Cousins
and Phantasms of the Soul

Frye Art Museum
Seattle WA – Jul 9-Oct 30, 2011

Gabriel von Max, Die ekstatische Jungfrau Anna Katharina Emmerich

Gabriel von Max, Die ekstatische Jungfrau Anna Katharina Emmerich (The Ecstatic Virgin Anna Katharina Emmerich) (1885), oil on canvas [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Jul 9-Oct 30] Munich, Bayerische Staats-gemäldesammlungen – Neue Pinakothek. Photo: bpk, Berlin / Munich, Bayerische Staats-gemälde-sammlungen – Neue Pinakothek / Art Resource, NY

Gabriel von Max, Vor der Arena

Gabriel von Max, Vor der Arena (Outside the Arena) (1880), oil on canvas [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Jul 9-Oct 30] The Daulton-Ho Collection. Photo: Don Tuttle

Although Gabriel von Max (1840-1915) was an esteemed painter in his day, this is the first solo museum exhibit of his work in the United States. Considered a Munich Secessionist, the controversial late-19th-century artist explored narratives on life, death and temptation, often with biblical and literary references, in moody pieces with allegorical undertones.

While he is known for his paintings of beautiful dead women, Max also had a strong interest in natural sciences, the occult and the origins of mankind. With such subjects, his paintings were often deemed morbid, although his technical skills and imaginative intelligence are self-evident.

This comprehensive exhibit includes some of Max’s most important works, many of which are on loan from private collections and major museums in Munich and Prague. Among them are The Anatomist, (1869), which depicts the corpse of young woman as the anatomist ponders her dissection, and Max’s moving portrayal of The Ecstatic Virgin Anna Katharina Emmerich (1885).

The signature piece of the exhibit, The Christian Martyr (1867) was Max’s first major painting, created when he was a 27-year-old student at Munich’s Royal Academy. A series of India ink drawings and woodcuts on the subject of Faust, as well as paintings depicting Max’s own monkeys engaged in human activities, will also be part of this survey.

www.fryemuseum.org

Allyn Cantor


 Sun, Jun 19, 2011