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Franz von Stuck, Lucifer

Franz von Stuck, Lucifer (1890), oil on canvas [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Nov 2-Feb 2] The National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia, Bulgaria

Franz von Stuck

Frye Art Museum
Seattle, WA – Nov 2, 2013 – Feb 2, 2014

Franz von Stuck, Orpheus

Franz von Stuck, Orpheus (1891), oil on gold-ground panel [Frye Art Museum, Seattle WA, Nov 2-Feb 2] Collection: Museum Villa Stuck / Photo: Wolfgang Pulfe

German Symbolist painter Franz von Stuck (1863-1928) was one of the founding members of the Munich Secession, a vanguard movement that evolved from avant-garde schools of thought. This discerning group organized international exhibitions that highlighted individualism, laying a foundation for many later Modernist developments.

In his day, Stuck (later ennobled Franz Ritter von Stuck) was an acclaimed painter who often portrayed dark mythological subjects in scenes with a heightened sense of emotion. His dramatic compositions frequently featured strong tension between darks and lights, often using solitary figures expressively rendered with high chromatic contrast.

Stuck’s most famous painting, Die Sünde (The Sin), was first shown at the Secessionist Exhibition of 1893 and then at the Third Annual Exhibition at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburg in 1898. The iconic work, seductive and haunting, was controversial at the time for depicting a partly clad woman with a snake slithering over her shoulder.  Stuck painted variations on this same subject in several other later works, including the 1908 version that is part of this exhibit.

Stuck was also a proficient sculptor, talented designer, illustrator and architect, and an influential teacher. Many of his students went on to become highly recognized in the art world, most notably Paul Klee and Wassily Kandinsky. This exhibit showcases many of Stuck’s graphic and architectural designs, as well as his masterful canvasses drawn from international collections.

Allyn Cantor

 Sat, Nov 9, 2013