These are my picks of the German painter Franz von Stuck (1863-1928). I saw an exhibition of his work at the Frye Art Museum in Seattle last weekend and loved his painting style, especially his subject matter. He references a lot of Greek mythology as well as other frequently referenced biblical stories such as Susanna and the Elders, Judith and Holophernes, portraits of Eve. It was interesting to see his take on these paintings. He made a living through his graphic style of illustrations usually in print for fliers for exhibitions and posters. I couldn’t take photos in the gallery but these are my favorites that I saw except for the murder.
Internationale Hygiene Poster, 1911. A poster and flier graphic design for a health convention.
Fighting Fauns, 1889. He liked to paint scenarios of fighting over females while referencing Greek mythology. Just for context, he was most active during the development of Darwinism, so we see a lot of his paintings pertaining to “survival of the fittest”.
The Murderer, 1891. This one wasn’t at the Frye but while I was looking around online this one caught me as striking.
Pieta, 1891. Stuck also paints religious scenes as in his version of Pieta. Although contrary to traditional religious paintings he strips them of their “religiousness” and divinity to emphasize the more human aspects and emotion out of the same stories.
Lucifer, 1893. I like how Stuck’s Lucifer is seated on the ground and not depicted as holy angels are suspended in the air as well as how he’s positioned as The Thinker. For he is considered the “Light Bearer” and did offer Adam and Eve a taste of knowledge with an apple from the forbidden tree. Standing right in front of this one while his piercing stare is matched with yours is quite the experience.