PORTRAIT OF A LADY WEARING A BURGUNDY VELVET DRESS HOLDING A PINK ROSE
FEDOR ENCKE 1851-1926
Oil on canvas 85 ¾ x 50 ¼ inches Framed size 103 x 67 ¼ inches Signed & inscribed New York & dated 1879
Fedor Encke was born in Berlin, Germany in 1851.Younger brother of Erdmann Encke who was a sculptor. Encke was the illegitimate grandson of King Frederick Wilhelm II of Prussia and his Mistress Wilhelmine Encke, Countess of Lichtenau. Fedor studied art under Karl Gussow in Berlin and then went on to study in Rome and Paris.Although he set up a studio in Berlin during the 1880's, he seems to have travelled regularly between Paris and New York painting many American Society sitters, including President Theodore Roosevelt. Encke's portrait of Roosevelt dressed in Rough Rider uniform, originally hung in the dining room of the White House and is now at the Presidents place of birth, Segamore Hill, New York. The portrait was also published as the frontispiece of 'The Rough Riders' by C. Scribners & Sons, 1899. Encke was in Paris in 1902 and painted the two banking giants, John H. Harjes and J.P. Morgan both having their portraits painted at the same time.To try and finish Morgan's painting Encke hired a young photographer named Edward Steichen to take Morgan's picture as a kind of aid memoir to minimize the sitting time. This photograph and the painting that resulted from it caused a considerable stir because of the uncompromising pose of Morgan.The portrait became world famous and synonymous with the new style of capitalism. Encke seems to have been very well connected socially and painted for many members of the European nobility as a result.
Fedor Encke died in 1926.
Works in Museums: Segamore Hill, New York (Portrait of Theodore Roosevelt) National Portrait Gallery America; Smithsonian; Brooklyn Museum of Art; Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Bibl: Book on Moses Ezekiel
This painting has a particular fine pierced carved wood frame, almost certainly made in Italy around 1900. It would appear that this painting was started in Paris and completed in the USA