An Early 20thC German School Portrait of a Lady by Albert Spethmann Dated to 1916

Origin: German
Period: Early 20thC
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1916
Height: 18”
Width: 14.75”

The atmospheric bust length portrait of a nude lady, shown glancing to one side, against a pale pistachio lemon coloured ground, the whole presented unframed and painted by Albert Spethmann (Germany, 1894 – 1986) in 1916.

The picture remains in nice decorative condition with some small paint fleck loss to the surface and with craquelure to the whole; please refer to the photographs for a visual reference. There is a storage label verso for Fraser and Walker Storage in Boston, Massachusetts USA so the picture appears well travelled and a stencil mark ‘38’.

Albert Spethmann appears to mainly have painted landscapes during his time as an artist; mainly the mountains, lakes and hills of his native Germany. The artist did a self-portrait, a year after this picture was painted in 1917, which shows him to be a dashing man holding his palette of colours. He would have been only 22 when he painted this picture and she may well have been his lover at the time.

As with the ‘selfie’ today, portraits were also a chance for more self-conscious sitters to be depicted in the latest fashions. This portrait shows a distinct turn away from the more traditional and would have been a fresh perspective at the time with the sitter more in profile and the colours that have been used.

A hugely sensitive and engaging portrait which saliently communicates that the artist had a deep connection with the sitter.