GERSTL’S WORKS Phase 4: Autumn 1907 – Spring 1908
Having returned to Vienna from his first summer in Gmunden with Schönberg, Gerstl’s winter term at the Akademie was about to be marred by the seeds of a damaging disagreement with Lefler concerning Kaiser Franz Joseph’s Diamond Jubilee parade, which eventually resulted in the loss of his studio in the Akademie. In the meantime, however, his bond with Schönberg strengthened as did his integration into Schönberg’s circle, Gerstl, for example, being amongst the group of Schönberg’s students who bade an anguished farewell to Mahler when he departed for New York in December 1907.
Gerstl appears to have spent that autumn producing landscapes in and around the city, but by February 1908 had taken a second studio, presumably funded by his father, in Schönberg’s building, Liechtensteinstraße 68/70. Here, he and Schönberg apparently pooled resources and shared paints, canvasses and materials, and whilst the new studio saw Gerstl return to life-size portraiture, it is hard to imagine that his relationship with both Schönberg and Mathilde did not become closer at the same time. Indeed, he was invited a second time to join them for their 1908 summer vacation, and by the end of June had left the city for Gmunden to do so (see Summer 1908 – Suicide)
Click on an image or title below to see greater detail of each work from Phase 4 in a new window Alternatively click for: 1902-1905 ♦ ♦ 1906-June 1907 ♦ ♦ Gmunden 1907 ♦ ♦ Summer 1908-Suicide Or jump to a chronological list of links to each one of Gerstl’s known works at the foot of this page Note: All links open in a separate window
RG72 Selbstbildnis, dated “15 September” either 1907 or, possibly 1908, verso RG71. Pencil on paper, 40 x 29.9 cms. Wien Museum. This series of three drawings, RG72-74, have been understandably dated as 1908, after the denouement, sometimes as an indicator of Gerstl’s suicidal state of mind. However, these sketches bear far greater resemblance to Gerstl’s appearance in autumn 1907 (see Selbstbildnis, lachend) than to his self-portraits from just before his death. Kallir 58 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 293-294.
RG73 Selbstbildnis, dated “29 September” either 1907 or, possibly 1908. Ink on paper, 38.6 x 28 cms. Albertina Vienna. The second of three sketches dated September, but without the year (see RG72 above), these better represent the taciturn, withdrawn nature of Gerstl’s character that his friend and subject, Paula Fey (see Die Schwestern Fey), portrayed in her letter to Breicha. Kallir 59 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 293-294.
RG74 Selbstbildnis, dated “29 September” either 1907 or, possibly 1908. Charcoal, ink on paper, 40 x 29.5 cms. Galerie St. Etienne, New York. The third of three sketches dated September, but without the year (see RG72 above), they maintain Gerstl’s customary piercing, cold look found in several others of his self-portraits. Kallir 63 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 293-294.
RG50 Liechtensteinpalais, Autumn 1907. Oil on canvas, 55 x 68.5 cms. Wien Museum. In this and RG51-53 (q.v.), his largest landscapes, Gerstl translates his “plein-air” techniques of his late summer Gmunden works to the Viennese autumn of 1907. Kallir 29 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 189-190.
RG51 Am Donaukanal, Autumn 1907. Oil on canvas, 63 x 47 cms. Leopold Museum.. Under an autumn sky, Gerstl paints in a style similar to his late Gmunden 1907 landscapes, using nervous flecks for the the leaves of the tree-tops and broad brushstrokes for the building facades, the canal embankment and the water surface. Kallir 30 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 189-190.
RG52 Die Straße (Motiv aus Nußdorf), Autumn 1907. Oil on canvas, 50.5 x 63 cms. MdM Rupertinum, Salzburg.. A late-autumn view of Nußdorf, a tram ride away for Gerstl and to where he and Mathilde eloped in August 1908. Kallir 23 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 189-190.
RG53 Dorfkirche, [Autumn 1907]. Lost since being exhibited in 1931, oil on canvas, 42.2 x 53 cms. The dimensions, materials and subject matter of this view of a village church point to it also having been one of Gerstl’s series of autumn 1907 landscapes from the Vienna environs. Kallir 19 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – p. 189.
RG88 Selbstbildnis auf grünem Grund,, Winter 1907/Spring 1908. Oil on canvas, 37 x 34 cms. Leopold Museum.. Nirenstein’s 1931 description as a “detail of a larger painting” suggests that this was cut, probably by the artist, from a full-length work. Maturely painted and brutally honest, Gerstl’s appearance is in keeping with his post-Gmunden 1907 look, so that, with the green background found in RG54, RG55 and RG56, the work can be attributed to winter 1907 or early spring 1908. Kallir 24 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28 September 1931. Discovered after publication of my thesis.
RG54 Sitzende Frau in grünem Kleid, after February 1908. Oil on canvas, 180 x 85.5 cms. Leopold Museum.. This portrait of an unidentified “Schauspielerin” (actress) is one of three portraits (RG54-56) whose common features of greenish walls, green furniture, and the same Gerstl works hanging in the background, suggest themselves as having all been painted by Gerstl in the studio that he shared with Schönberg in Schönberg’s building 68/70 Liechtensteinstraße between February and late June 1908. Kallir 36 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from 17.10.1931. Thesis – pp. 190-192.
RG86 Sitzende Frau in grünem Kleid 2, [after February 1908]. According to Alois Gerstl, this was stolen around the time of 1931 exhbition. Presumably oil on canvas, Alois described this as the actress lying on a sofa, so probably painted around the same time as RG54. Not known to Kallir. Thesis – pp. 190-192.
RG55 Bildnis eines sitzenden Mannes, after February 1908. Oil on canvas, 130 x 100 cms. Private. Little is known about the subject, behind whom hangs Gerstl’s Ernst Diez and his 1902 blue self-portrait. Gerstl’s return to realistic portraiture following his rapid transformations in Gmunden indicates that this series of works may again have been commissions, possibly emanating from Schönberg’s circle. Kallir 32 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 190-192.
RG56 Mathilde im Atelier, after February 1908. Oil on canvas, 171 x 60 cms. Stiftung Sammlung Kamm. – Kunsthaus Zug.. For Mathilde im Atelier, Gerstl reverts to the flecks and dabs of his recent Vienna landscapes as well as a life-size, narrow format to depict Mathilde demurely, respectfully and smartly dressed, perhaps for a spring 1908 day, in cool, modern attire. The work represents, perhaps, the best example of the influence of the French intimists, Vuillard and Bonnard, in Gerstl’s works. Kallir 48 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from 17.10.1931. Thesis – pp. 190-192.
RG75 Tänzerin, almost certainly before summer 1908. Recto RG76, oil on canvas, 67.8 x 54.6. Lost since exhibited in 1931, this appears to have been a dancer in red dress before a yellow curtain, possibly one from Kabarett Fledermaus, Vienna, which Gertsl appears to have frequented. Kallir 27 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – p. 195.
RG76 Selbstbildnis (Studie). Verso RG75 Tänzerin, probably painted in Vienna before summer 1908. Oil on canvas, 67.8 x 54.6 cms. Lost since being exhibited in 1931. Kallir 27 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – p. 195.
RG57 Halbfigurenportrait Mathilde Schönberg?, spring or early summer 1908. Oil on canvas, 100 x 140 cms (possibly cut down from larger work). Private. Most likely Mathilde, the air of domesticity recalls Mathilde und Gertrud Schönberg), so possibly painted in Mathilde’s apartment. Not known to Kallir. Thesis – pp. 193-192
RG58 Bildnis Henryka Cohn, Esterhazygasse 23, Vienna VI, June 1908. Oil on canvas, 147.8 x 111.5 cms. Inscribed verso on canvas: “Richard Gerstl, IX., Nussdorferstr 35″ Obscured verso on stretcher: “Henrik(a?) Cohn, Esterhasyg. 23″. Leopold Museum. Painted in Cohn’s home shortly before Gerstl’s seminal Gmunden 1908 portraits, this shows affinities to Klimt’s Fritza Riedler, first exhibited Kunstschau June 1908. Henryka, an artist and piano teacher from Schönberg’s circle, may have been Gerstl’s final commission from this association. Kallir 55 – exhibited at Neue Galerie from opening, 28.9.1931. Thesis – pp. 196-199.
RG8 Bildnis Henryka Cohn 2, ca. summer 1908. Oil on canvas. Alois implied that Gerstl painted a second version of Henryka that portrayed different circumstances to the previous work. However, there may be some confusion here with the second version of Sitzende Frau in grünem Kleid (see RG86 above). Not known to Kallir. Thesis – p. 199.
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
1906-June 1907: Trude Geiringer ♦ ♦ Schönberg ♦ ♦ Mathilde und Gertrud ♦ ♦ Frau mit Federhut ♦ ♦ Grinzing ♦ ♦ Emil Gerstl ♦ ♦ Selbsbildnis mit Palette ♦ ♦ Diez ♦ ♦ Alois Gerstl ♦ ♦ Smaragda Berg ♦ ♦ Mutter und Tochter ♦ ♦ Selbsbildnis Drawing/1 ♦ ♦ Selbsbildnis Drawing/2 ♦ ♦ Selbsbildnis Drawing/3 ♦ ♦ Selbsbildnis Drawing/4 ♦ ♦ vor dem Ofen ♦ ♦ Selbstbildnis (Studie) ♦ ♦ Kleines Selbstbildnis ♦ ♦ Dame mit Federhut ♦ ♦ Kahlenberg ♦ ♦ Oberländer ♦ ♦ Herrenbildnis ♦ ♦ Kniestück ♦ ♦ Selbsbildnis Drawing/2
Gmunden 1907: Obstbaum mit Holzstützen ♦ ♦ Blumenwiese ♦ ♦ Gartenbild ♦ ♦ Baum im Garten ♦ ♦ Prillinger ♦ ♦ Uferpromenade ♦ ♦ Obstbaum ♦ ♦ Baumstudie ♦ ♦ Gartenzaun ♦ ♦ Mathilde Schönberg:II ♦ ♦ Traunseelandschaft ♦ ♦ Baum am Traunsee ♦ ♦ Schlafender Griechin ♦ ♦ Landschaftsstudie ♦ ♦ Selbstbildnis, lachend (1907)
Autumn 1907-Spring 1908: Self 15 September ♦ ♦ Self 29 September/1 ♦ ♦ Self 29 September/2 ♦ ♦ Liechtensteinpalais ♦ ♦ Donaukanal ♦ ♦ Nußdorf ♦ ♦ Sitzende Frau ♦ ♦ Sitzende Mann ♦ ♦ Mathilde im Atelier ♦ ♦ Halbfigurenportrait ♦ ♦ Henryka Cohn
Gmunden 1908-Suicide: Alban Berg? ♦ ♦ Traunseelandschaft 1908 ♦ ♦ Doppelbildnis ♦ ♦ Zemlinsky ♦ ♦ Mathilde im Garten ♦ ♦ Familie Schönberg ♦ ♦ Gruppenbildnis ♦ ♦ Akt im Freien ♦ ♦ Nußdorferstraße ♦ ♦ Zimmer ♦ ♦ Maria Gerstl ♦ ♦ Halbakt ♦ ♦ Selbstbildnis 12 September 1908 ♦ ♦ Frauenakt