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  • Fritz Freund (German, 1859-1942) Painting of Monks & Soldiers
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Fritz Freund (German, 1859-1942) Painting of Monks & Soldiers

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Signed lower right "F. Freund München '90"
Item # 612VKM08O 

This stunning work by Fritz Freund is a perfect blend of drama, humor and exacting period correctness.  The soldiers and monks are totally engaged in the wild tale of the leftmost figure, his exaggerated body language suggestive of a fight story as his arm raises in the air with an invisible sword grasped in the closed fingers.  At the opposite end of the table an older monk seems almost weary, having likely heard similar tall tales and being harder to fool than his dinner companions.  The multitude of vibrant colors beautifully juxtapose the cold and dark setting of the abby, a building warmed by the pewter pitchers of wine being served at the table.  Each chair is rendered with perfect accuracy, the pierced-heart stool placing the scene in Northern Europe.  This large and complicated painting is exquisitely preserved and in perfect condition.  The work is signed in block letters lower right "F. Freund München ’90".

Fritz Freund was born in Darmstadt Germany in 1859 and studied at the Munich Academy.  As a genre painter, he was particularly specialized in humorous scenes of unique characters and interesting interactions, usually capturing moments from the 16th and 17th centuries complete with colorful period garb.  One of his most recognizable paintings, however, was somewhat more contemporary - a scene of young boys engaged in a snowball fight that was completed in several sizes.  A larger scene was sold in 1997 for $ 57,500 USD (39 1/2” x 63”) and a smaller scene was sold in 2009 for just over $ 15,000 USD (31” x 47”).  His work is only rarely found on the open market.

Listings & Reference:

  • E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. V, Gründ, 2006, p. 1079
  • Popular 19th Century Painting, Poltimore & Hook, 1986, p. 541

Measurements:  52 1/2” W x 35 1/2” H (frame); 46” W x 29” H (canvas)

Condition Report:
Relined, contemporary frame (minor wear to frame).  Professionally conserved, probably in the last decade or so; inpainting to edges of painting where frame might rub, spots of touch up; most of the surface is difficult to read due to the flare of the fresh varnish.  Overall in outstanding presentation-ready condition.