“Roman Girls at Cervara”

An oil on panel painting by August Weckesser (1821-1899) depicting two roman girls at Cervara (Italy) carrying goods.

Some other examples of works by this artist are included at the end of the photos.

Frame:  Set in a later, good quality, giltwood frame.

Provenance:  Bassenge Berlin, Germany 27 Nov 2015 Lot #6124 (see last photo).  Old label on reverse states “original sketch from the estate sold in Winterthur in March 1899”.
German private collection.

Condition:  Painting and frame are both in good condition. There are some scattered spots of re-touching visible under a blacklight, most notably a thin wavy diagonal line (presumably correction of a previous scratch).

Measurements:  Painting measures 50 x 38cm and the overall frame 68 x 56cm.

Biography:  August Weckesser (28 November 1821, in Winterthur – 11 January 1899, in Rome) was a Swiss painter, known primarily for history paintings.

While he was still a boy, the family moved to Oberwinterthur, where his father had taken over the operation of the local mill. At the age of fifteen, he left school to begin an apprenticeship there.

He apparently developed an interest in art because, at the age of nineteen, he began taking lessons from the portrait and history painter David Eduard Steiner. In 1841, contributions from local merchants enabled him to attend the Academy of Fine Arts, Munich. By 1843, he was able to open his own studio.

In 1848, he returned to Winterthur and took lessons from Johann Caspar Weidenmann. The following year, he received his first major commission; painting decorations above the bookshelves at the Knabenschule Winterthur (now the Museum Oskar Reinhart]). Always seeking to improve himself, he later made study trips to Antwerp, Paris and Rome, although he remained attached to Munich. He never married.

Among his best known paintings are those depicting the death of Huldrych Zwingli, and Gertrud von Wart begging Agnes of Austria to have mercy on her husband, who was implicated in an assassination plot. The latter may be seen at Schloss Kyburg.

After 1858, Italy served as his second home. He died there in 1899, after suffering from a kidney ailment. Shortly after, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Stadthaus W.


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“Roman Girls at Cervara”