There he sits, a thoroughly magnificent stag; handsome and dignified, at rest but constantly vigilant with an eye to protecting those entrusted to him. His gaze meets ours; calm, appraising, distant. Before we’ve even realized it, we’re already at pains to keep still; not a single motion nor sound, lest we disturb him and his resting herd.
There was only one artist who painted animals in such a lively and appealing manner in their natural surroundings: Graz native Norbertine Bresslern-Roth. From an early age, she was possessed of a love for these special creatures; she studied animal painting in Dresden and then spent years visiting Europe’s various zoos. There she was often seen with her sketchbook, studying all manner of native and exotic species—their movements, their gazes, their peculiarities. But though her Neuer Artikelreal-life models were caged in, the artist depicted them amidst their wild, natural surroundings—and like a poet, she embedded them in imagined stories in which they battled, hunted, and rested.
One individual theme, however, is never enough to develop an unmistakable artistic handwriting. Essential to the pictures of Bresslern-Roth are also the ability and creativity she applied to lending the colours and the medium a characteristically soft effect between blurriness and vibration. In place of a fine canvas, she preferred the grainy structure of jute, which reduced the sharpness of drawn contours and made possible soft, flowing transitions between colours.
This year, the Graz-born painter Norbertine Bresslern-Roth was commemorated with a large-scale retrospective presentation at the Neue Galerie of the Universalmuseum Joanneum in Graz.
This painting will go up for bidding together with a large portfolio of the artist’s linocuts on 18 October 2017 in the auction “19th & 20th-Century Paintings” at Auktionshaus im Kinsky.
Text: Marianne Hussl-Hörmann, Auktionshaus im Kinsky