150 110 Maximilian Kurzweil (Austrian, 1867- 1916) THE PASSAGE LANRIEC, CONCARNEAU oil on canvas signed lower right 20 by 24in. (50.8 by 61cm) Frame Dimensions: 27.5 by 32in. (69.9 by 81.3cm) Good, clean, stable condition. scratch visble lower right corner. Presented in an ornate gilt frame; unglazed. Provenance: Private collection, Tangier; Galerie Tindouf, Tangier; Private collection; Gorry Gallery, Dublin; Private collection Exhibited: ‘18th -20th Century Irish Art’, Gallery Gallery, Dublin, 10- 20 December 2008, catalogue no. 28 This painting, The Passage, Lanriec, features a jetty on which two small figures stand; with a strip of water and a village behind. The foreground is in shadow but the background of white-washed houses with red roofs, lit by beautiful evening sunshine, has colour and vibrancy. The setting is in Concrneau, Brittany, the busy fishing harbour which was one of the foremost artist colonies in France in the late 19th mid early 20th centuries, attracting painters from all over Europe and America. Amongst these was the Austrian Max Kurzweil. A frequent visitor to Concarneau, he married a local woman, and painted many Breton pictures in a colourful Impressionist manner. Maximilian Kurzweil was born in Bisenz, Moravia, (then part of the Austro-Hungarian empire), in 1867, the son of a sugar manufacturer. 1 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Vienna in 1886-1888, 18901891, and again, in 1894- 1895, between times doing a period of military service, and, curious about contemporary trends in French art, studying at the Académie Julian in Paris in 1892, and visiting Brittany the following summer. IN 1895 Kurzweil married Martha Gulot from Concarneau and henceforth the couple spent their summers in Brittany ad their winters in Vienna. She provided the inspiration for many of his paintings and drawings. During the later years of the Austro-Hungarian empire, under the Habsburg dynasty, Vienna was going through a period of considerable expansion, industrially, socially and architecturally, with a dramatic increase in population. 2 ) There was a thriving artistic Bohemian and café society. Kurzweil was a leading figure in the Golden Age of Viennese culture, of a generation which included the painters Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka composer Gustav Mahler, novelist Stefan Zweig, architects Wagner, Hoffman and Loos; and Sigmund Freud, the ‘father’ of Psychoanalysis. Formerly a member of the Club of Seven, in 1897 Kurzweil was a founder member of the avant-garde group the Vienna Secession. He exhibited with them and provided woodcuts for their journal. He has also started exhibiting at the Paris Salon in 1894, and in 1900 represented Austria at the Paris World Fair, being awarded a gold medal. He worked as a teacher at the Art School for Women, Vienna, 1909-1915. Following the outbreak of War, Kurzweil served in the Viennese army, then as a War artist. Sadly, while on leave in Vienna, he died in 1916. Kurzweil’s work included several main strands: portraits of beautiful women ad Symbolist painting, for example, his masterpiece Lady in a Yellow Dress, 1899 (Historical Museum, Vienna); decorative woodcuts, such as The Cushion, 1903 (Art Gallery of New South Wales); and bold, Impressionist paintings of Brittany. The present work, Passage Lanriec features the small pier at the end of the Ville Close, Concarneau. It conveys the delight of the visitor who, after walking through the sombre alleyways of this walled town, came upon this vision of the water and sunlight. Villagers waited at the quayside to be transported across the sound, often with their market produce, by ferrymen to the hamlet of Lanriec opposite. Many artists were attracted by this subject, notably Irish artist Aloysius O’Kelly, who painted several pictures, and Helen Mabel Trevor, who made a small ink drawing .3 Kurzweil’s painting is based on his small pencil drawing Town in Brittany. 4 He frames The Passage, Lanriec between the massive granite walls of the town and some moored boats. The small figures of the man and woman are in shadow. But the picture is striking for the glowing water and sun filled village, with its whitewashed houses, red roofs and trees. There is a Fauvist simplification of forms and vibrancy of colours, or example in the dappled blue, pink ad violet water, and the flecked red brushstrokes in the ochre walls, reminiscent of Roderic O’Conor and Gustave Loiseau. Boats are drawn up on the rocks, and the white shape near them may be a painted marker. The picture has a mood of waiting. A near contemporary postcard shows a similar scene but with a lively boatload of men and children crossing. Julian Campbell, February 2021 1 See Max Kurzweill 1867-1916, Paintings, Drawings and Woodcuts, Hubert Adolph-Paburg, Felix Landau Gallery, Los Angeles, 1968 2 See Peter Vergo, Art in Vienna, 1898-1918, London, 1975, 1981, p.9-17. 3 Illustrated in Helen Mabel Trevor, Paintings of an Artist, 1900. 4 Illustrated in Max Kurzweill 1867-1916, 1968, p.22, no. 40 €6,000-€8,000 (£5,170-£6,900 approx.) Click here for more images and to bid on this lot11 0