Richard Gerstl, Two Sisters, 1905.

Richard Gerstl was an Austrian painter and draughtsman known for his expressive psychologically insightful portraits, his lack of critical acclaim during his lifetime, and his affair with the wife of Arnold Schoenberg which led to his suicide. At the age of 15, Gerstl was accepted the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna where he studied under the notoriously opinionated and difficult Christian Griepenkerl. Gerstl began to reject the style of the Vienna Secession and what he felt was pretentious art. This eventually prompted his vocal professor to proclaim, “The way you paint, I piss in the snow!”

Gerstl’s work included life-size portraits of friends and relatives, numerous self-portraits as well as a series of small-scale landscapes, which are among the most accessible of his works. Gerstl’s main interest was in figure painting. “Self-portrait Semi-nude before a Blue Background” (1901–2) bears a startling similarity to Edvard Munch’s “Puberty”. This artistic and spiritual influence seemed to change, however, in the double portrait of the Fey Sisters (1905) . For these and later works Gerstl painted in a late-Impressionist or pointillist style.

(Submission from svell)

 

Posted on February 26 2012, with 108 Notes

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