Young Woman Wearing a Copper Scarf
Oil on Canvas
26 x 20 Inches
Signed Lower Left, "W. Schwartz"
Dated Lower Right, 1935, and Inscribed "Skagen"
A substantial, psychologically penetrating portrait of a young woman with braids, shown dressed in a charcoal wool coat and wearing a copper-colored neck-scarf. The self-possessed sitter stands and meets the viewers gaze directly, proving herself an unusually confident subject for this noted Danish Modernist.
Nephew of the Danish academic artist, Frans Schwartz, Walter Schwartz grew up surrounded by the painters who frequented the Danish art colony on the picturesque island of Skagen. Walter first studied formally (1904-8) with Michael Ancher, the Danish realist from whom he learned to delve beneath the surface and invest his portrait subjects with an unusual depth of empathy and character. Walter Schwartz's repeated studies in Paris (and, later, in Concarneau, Brittany) in the early part of the century (1911-13, 1920-22) exposed him to the principles of Modernism and to the artistic ferment of which Paris was then the world capital. In 1916, he was awarded the Bielke Scholarship which enabled him to travel with greater freedom from financial constraint. The artist's work from the 1920's shows both a brightening palette and a greater familiarity with the principles of Cubism which he continued to integrate into his later paintings, and of which traces can be seen in the present work. Over the course of a long career, Schwartz exhibited widely and with success including at the Charlottenborg in Copenhagen (1909-1925) and, in Paris, at the Salon d'Automne (1921) and at the Salon des Indépendants (1922). The artist's work is held in private and public collections world-wide and he is well-listed in relevant art reference works including Benezit's definitive dictionary of artists.
KE 1908-09, 1912, 1929; Young Artists. 1909; Charlottenborg Spring 1911, 1914-20, 1924-25; Skagen 1914; Salon d'Automne, Paris, 1921; Salon des Indépendants, Paris 1922. Separate exhibitions: Anton Hansen, Copenhagen. 1918, 1922; Lyngby Kunstforen. 1990.
E. Benezit, Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs, et Graveurs, Jacques Busse, 1999 Nouvelle Édition, Gründ 1911, Vol. 12, p. 575; Skagens Avis (?) June 1914 (Chr. H.O., Lokalsaml., Skagen); 9/14/1916 (smst.); Chr. Engelstoft i: Black on white 14.3.1918; Pole. 7.11.1958; Berl. Time. 7.11.1958 (J. Zibrandtsen); Lise Svanholm in: W.S: De glade farvers fest, 1990 et al.
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