German, 1881 - 1932
Portrait in Profile
Courtesy Peter Nahum at The Leicester Galleries
"The portrait profile was an impersonal and deliberately diplomatic format, which was popular all over Europe throughout the Middle Ages. It was typically reserved for images of royalty and important heads of state. Theodor Baierl looks back to this medieval portrait type to create a particularly striking image of a young woman; a powerful portrait behind which lies a feeling of tenderness and intimacy. The glowing, gem-like colours and intimate scale call to mind a highly personal portrait miniature.
Theodor Baierl studied at the Munich Academy under Franz von Stuck and Martin Feuerstein. Baierl was an artist born out of his time. He passionately believed in the art, love sonnets and archaic harmonies of the Medieval era which in turn became the essence of his paintings. Though his pure colours and attention to detail mirror the art of the Quattrocento, Baierl was no copyist of the old masters. His compositions are very much a product of his own mind. It is for this reason that underlying these faux old masters can be found the symbolism of the Munich secession. Though not commenting directly on modern society, the art is a product of his time and his idealization of the past suggests dissatisfaction with modern Germany and the monumental upheaval of the First World War."
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