Franz VON STUCK 1863-1928

Franz von Stuck was born in 1863 in Tettenweiss, Germany. He grew up in a humble family but his parents supported their son's wish to become an artist from the outset. From 1878 to 1881 he attended an Arts and Crafts school and continued his education afterwards at the well known Art Academy in Munich. While he was still a student, he started to draw illustrations for different magazines. Later on he produced several drawings and drafts for the German Arts and Crafts. Stuck first attracted international attention through his allegoric sketches, which were published by the Viennese publishing house Gerlach and Schenk. Famous artists such as Gustav Klimt also worked for this publication. Stuck devoted his early years essentially to drawing, but in 1887 he started to paint in oil. A challenging personal experience for him was the co-founding of the Munich Secession in 1882, which he achieved successfully together with German painter Wilhelm Trübner in opposition to established artists. Another important step in Stuck's career was his appointment as a Professor at the Art Academy in Munich. His students included the avant-garde artists Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Stuck was a member of several associations, for instance the International Society of Sculptures, Painters and Gravers. Moreover he co-founded another German artistic federation called Deutscher Künstlerbund in 1903. In 1906 he was granted a noble title, prompting him to change his name to Franz von Stuck.

There is no doubt that Franz von Stuck was one of the most successful German artists of the early 20th century. Art historians considered him from the outset to be an important representative of German Art Nouveau, while he was subsequently recognized as one of the most important exponents of Symbolism. Franz von Stuck worked with different kinds of media, but he produced his best work as a painter of mythological subjects, especially in connection with (female) eroticism and nudity. His portraits also show insight into his family's private life and he would frequently depict his family and friends.