At the age of fifteen Veith entered the School of Applied Arts of the Austrian Museum of Art and Industry in Vienna where, together with Gustav Klimt, he studied with Ferdinand Laufberger.
Property of Dr. Albin Oppenheim (1875-1945), Vienna
Thus by descent
Sale: Monrovia, John Moran auctioneers, 13 October, 2019
Eduard Veith had a long and varied career. At the age of fifteen he entered the School of Applied Arts of the Austrian Museum of Art and Industry in Vienna where, together with Gustav Klimt, he studied with Ferdinand Laufberger. He would later travel to Paris, where he worked on the façade of the exhibition building of the 1878 World’s Fair. Other trips took him to Italy, Belgium and Tunisia, however, he spent most of his career in Vienna, where he was involved with many critically acclaimed architectural and public commissions. During this period, he also became a much sought-after portrait painter of women in Viennese society. While the present painting cannot be ascribed to a known sitter, it corresponds to an idealized type that Veith had favored as a young painter. At the end of the 19th century, his subjects of the Wiener Wäschermädel became his primary focus; and in particular such works as the dancers in the mural in the auditorium of the Viennese variety Ronacher (1887) and the advertising posters for “Taussigs Klythia-powder” (1890-1900). It is out of this tradition that the present painting corresponds. The beautiful, young sitter stares directly at the viewer. Her features correspond to other Veith portraits from this period (circa 1910); deep brown eyes, rosy lips and a porcelain complexion often silhouetted against a dark background. This female type was based on the then common fantasy of the “femme fatale”, an image also favored by other contemporary artists; one may think of the female portraits by Dante Gabriel Rossetti.
This painting was originally in the collection of the Viennese dentist, Albin Oppenheim (1875-1945). Oppenheim emigrated to the United States in 1938, and was allowed to bring his possessions with him, including Veith’s Portrait of a Young Lady in a Blue Blouse. He was a professor in orthodontics at the University of Southern California until his death in 1945.
This painting has been authenticated by Dr. Silvia Freimann, author of the monograph and catalogue raisonné on Eduard Veith.