Franz Von Stuck (1863~1928)
German Symbolist Painter
Born February 24th 1863.
Died August 30th 1928.
Franz Von Stuck was am influential German Symbolist/Art Nouveau painter, sculptor, engraver, and architect born at Tettenweis near Griesbach in Lower Bavaria, Germany, the son of a miller. He was noted for his treatment of erotic and comic aspects of mythological themes.
As a child he quickly became a gifted caricaturist. From 1878 to 1881 he attended the Kunstgewerbeschule in Munich, where he received particular encouragement from Ferdinand Barth (1842�92).
Von Stuck attended the Munich School for the Applied Arts after secondary school, transferring in 1881 to the "K�igliche Akademie der bildenden K�ste" (Royal Academy for the Fine Arts). The drawings he did for the portfolio 'Allegorien und Embleme' ('Allegories and Emblems'), published by Gerlach and Schenk in Vienna, made his reputation as an outstanding draughtsman as early as 1882.
Awarded the gold medal for the painting "Die W�hter des Paradieses" ("The Guardians of Paradise) at the Annual Exhibition at the Munich Glass Palace in 1889, Von Stuck devoted himself entirely to painting, becoming a portraitist who was much in demand. His sitters' regal poses elevate them above the mundane, making them sublime and timeless. In addition to some early landscapes and numerous portraits, the painter's oeuvre is notable primarily for mythological and symbolic themes.
Around 1890, Von Stuck turned to sculpture and produced a number of statues and statuettes. The first major work was the Wounded Centaur in 1890, then the Athlete in 1892.
At the 1893 'Munich Secession' exhibition (Von Stuck was a founder member) he showed "Die S�de" (The Sin), creating a sensation. When only thirty-two, he was appointed professor at the Munich Academy in 1895. His notable students included Paul Klee, Hans Purrmann, Wassily Kandinsky, and Josef Albers.
Von Stuck also became a member of the board of 'Genossenschaft Pan', publishers of the art magazine 'Pan', for which he designed the cover. In 1897 construction work began in Munich on the Villa Stuck in Prinzregentenstra�. The artist himself designed the architecture, the interior decoration and the furnishings for it and the ensemble amounted to one of the major total works of art of its day.
The building, with which Von Stuck, the 'prince of artists', erected as a monument to himself in the grand manner of the Renaissance, is acclaimed as a supreme achievement of its kind in architecture. The furnishings of the Villa were awarded a gold medal at the 1900 Paris Exhibition.
Stuck's subject matter was primarily drawn from mythology, inspired by the work of Arnold B�klin. Large, heavy forms dominate most of his paintings and point toward his proclivities for sculpture. His seductive female nudes, in the role of the femme fatale, are a prime example of popular Symbolist content. Stuck paid close attention to the frames for his paintings and generally designed them himself with such careful use of panels, gilt carving and inscriptions that the frames must be taken as an integral part of the overall piece.