Auction House

Auction: 19th Century Paintings

20. June 2023, 4:00 pm

Object overview


Leopold Carl Müller

(Dresden 1834 - 1892 Wien)

oil on canvas; original frame
76 x 45 cm
signed and dated on the lower left: Leopold Carl Müller 1889.
on the reverse on the stretcher label Kunsthandlung H.O. Miethke, Vienna;
on the reverse several lablels on the stretcher: Künstlerhaus Vienna, 1897/2257 (confirmed by Nikolaus Domes, Künstlerhaus Archiv Vienna);
remains of exhibition label: Internationale .... / no. 1528;
remains of label Galerie Neumann, Vienna


from the estate of the artist;
his estate auction by H.O. Miethke, Künstlerhaus Vienna, 2-4 March 1893, no. 45 (BW-ill.);
acquired for 4.500 fl. by Fritz Dobner v. Dobenau (1852-1925), Vienna (reported in "Die Presse", 4 March 1893, published in: Herbert Zeman, L.C. Müller. Sein künstlerischer Nachlass, Vienna 2011, p. 100, p. 161);
Antiquitäten im Hochhaus, M. Dittmer, Vienna;
acquired from there in 1955, in the family since then (private property, Austria)


1889 Vienna, Jahresausstellung im Künstlerhaus, No. 296 "Hamida";
1889 Munich, Jahresausstellung im königlichen Glaspalast, No. 703 "Hamida";
1897 Vienna, Künstlerhaus, No. 2257 "fell. Mädchen mit Fächer" (sent directly to exhibition in Dresden from Vienna, according to the Künstlerhaus);
1897 Dresden, Internationale Kunst-Ausstellung, No. 424 "Fellachisches Mädchen (Im Privatbesitz)";
1932 Vienna, Gedenkausstellung L. C. Müller, Kollektion Bertha und Maria Müller, Galerie Neumann & Salzer, Vienna, 20th March to 17th April 1932, No. 47 "Hamida"


Friedrich Pecht (ed.), Die Kunst für Alle, Fifth year, 1889-1890, Heft 4, Munich 1890, p. 49 (BW-ill.);
Moderne Kunst in Meister-Holzschnitten. Nach Gemälden und Skulpturen berühmter Meister der Gegenwart, Vol. IX, Delivery XII, Berlin, o.J. (1895), pl. LXVII;
Friedrich von Boetticher, Malerwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts. Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte, II/1, Hofheim/Taunus 1979, 4th reprint, p. 103, no. 33

Estimate: € 50.000 - 100.000
Result: € 102.400 (incl. fees)
Auction is closed.

Leopold Carl Müller was one of the most important Austrian artists devoted to Oriental painting. The "Egypt-Müller", as he was called, first came to the country on the Nile in 1873. His fascination with the Orient was to remain with him throughout his life, as he visited Egypt a total of eight times in the years that followed, usually spending the winter months there. He was fascinated by the country and its people, which is why he did not paint a distorted picture of the Orient, as it was popular in the West - with harem scenes, seductive odalisques or slave markets - but tried to depict an authentic Orient. The simple life of the Egyptian population in the towns and villages as well as the desert landscapes bathed in bright sunlight were his themes.

In addition to his figurative scenes, Müller also created a long series of portraits of Egyptian people. Our portrait, which was sold at the artist's estate auction, stands out in its particularity. The androgynous appearance of the young model makes it difficult to classify whether she is a girl or a boy, but the title "Hamida" indicates that she is a young woman. The stern, frontal depiction, her eyes with the strong brows, the full lips and her serious gaze are fascinating.

Formally, the portrait is perfectly composed and also captivates with its exquisite colourfulness. The variety of ochre and brown tones as well as the even smoothness of the incarnate parts are underlined by charming colouristic accents such as the headscarf, necklace and fan.

The artistic quality as well as the strange beauty of the sitter make this work an impressive masterpiece of the artist, who was able to depict the grace and proud dignity of Arab people like no other. (MS)