This portrait of a beauty in an antique dress was executed on the turn of 20th Century by German painter-symbolist Walter von Bongé ( 1868 Rawitsch / Posen - 1916 (fallen in the WWI). He was cousin of the painter Irmgard von Bonge.
Walter von Bonge, an artist of the romantic-symbolist movement in art, whose bright representatives were Franz von Stück, Franz von Lenbach and Böcklin, made in 1878-1894 military career, then studied in 1894-96 at the Fine Art Academy in Dresden; 1897-99 Academy in Munich. - Preferred naturalistic portraits and woman heads. Bongé was a member of the Munich Artists' Union, the largest and most established exhibition association in the city under the chairmanship of »painter prince« Franz von Lenbach.
Since 1899, Walter von Bongé participated in the great art exhibitions, which were organized annually by the artist cooperative. Until 1908, the painter was represented seven times in the glass palace. In 1904 Bongé took part in the large art exhibition in Berlin and in 1907 he also showed one of his works in Duesseldorf.
Since Bongé never depended on the sale of his works and had to take no account of the laws of the art market, his interest in a regular exhibition activity was rather low. In this fact, the reason should be sought, that today only a limited number of works Bongés is known.
However, the most spectacular effect on today's viewer is the large-format, allegorically-decorative women's pictures Bongés. The painter always attached to traditional traditions; Thus the „Rosenduft“ (around 1900) is a reminiscence of the widespread five-senses cycles of the Baroque period.
The allegory by Bonge as with many contemporaries-among others, such as Max Klinger, Wilhelm Kray, Carl von Marr-is primarily an excuse for the portrayal of sexy women. Its slightly androgynous and somewhat enigmatic figures correspond to a female type popular in this time. Bongé proves to be a representative of the founding time painting towards the end of the 19th century, when painters like stucco and Böcklin shaped the general artistic taste.
It is therefore not surprising that the allegorical images of women of the painter were very successful in the art-loving bourgeois audience-not only in the original, but above all as art print. Like many painters, Walter von Bongé offered his works to various art publishers, who provided the growing circle of art consumers with photographic reproductions of “ Old and modern masters ”.
Literature: Thieme/Becker"Dictionary of artists from antique to present(in german)", Lepzig, 1999, in on-line: Sammlung Grwim-Schwemmle under following link:
Inscription: signed lower right.
Technique: oil on canvas. Salon original period frame.
Measurements: unframed w 29 7/8 " x h 29 7/8“ (76 x 76 cm); framed w 37 1/3 " x h 37 1/3 " ( 95 x 95 cm).
Condition: in very good condition.