Emil Fuchs (1866-1929)
The flower girl
signed and dated 1901
oil on board
10½ x 8 inches
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A beautiful and intimate portrait of a delicate young beauty. Emil Fuchs trained under John Singer Sargent and his influence can clearly be seen here in the confident, fluid brushwork and the flashes of white impasto to the flowers in her hair.
Emil Fuchs (1866-1929) was a sculptor, painter and medallist. He was born in Vienna and trained initially at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts and subsequently in Berlin at the Prussian Academy of Arts.
In 1891 he was awarded the German Prix de Rome which gave him the opportunity to study there. The great artistic flourishing occuring in Rome and the other artistic centres of Europe at the time, came hand in hand with the decadence of their artistic communities. Fuchs was very much part of this hedonistic scene and his affair with one of the great beauties of the time, Elvira Fraternali contributed to the plot of a film focusing on this period (D'Annunzio).
In 1897, he moved to London where he was mentored by John Singer Sargent whose influence is very much apparent in his portraiture. His work became increasingly popular and he was commissioned by the aristocracy and Royal Family, designing the postage stamp for Edward VII and his Coronation medal.
Emil Fuchs in his studio, from With Pencil, Brush and Chisel
From 1905, he began to make frequent trips to the United States, having established his name with wealthy American socialites. He ultimately moved there in 1915, a move precipitated by a rising tide of anti-German sentiment in England in the run up to the First World War. His autobiography, With Pencil, Brush and Chisel (1925) details the great breadth of his work and the considerable level of demand for commissions amongst England and America's social elite. He died in New York in 1929. His sculpture, paintings and medals can be found in numerous collections and museums including, the Royal Collection, The Metropolitan Museum and the Brooklyn Museum.