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The Kiss of the Sphinx

Franz Stuck1895

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

Stuck was one of the founders of the Secession in Munich, 1892. In 1895, the year in which this picture was painted, he was appointed a professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, where Kandinsky and Klee both became his pupils. He was the main exponent of the enigmatic imaginary world of symbolism, a model to follow for the experimenters of painting in late 19th century Munich. The lethal embrace of the femme fatale, the sensously attractive, demonic woman is a theme which recurs frequently in his works. Each stylistic device – the composition crammed in a tight, narrow space, the rude colours (which have unfortunately darkened with the passage of time), and the bulky modelling – intensifies the brutal eroticism of the picture.

Ferenc Tóth

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