Anton Thiele (1838-1902), Tying a Rose, 1888, Oil on canvas, Dimensions: 25 ½ x 30 ½ inches, actual; 30 ¾ x 35 ¾ inches, framed, Signed and dated lower right: Thiele 1888.
Provenance: private collection, New York State,
While little is known about Anton Thiele, the Danish artist was born in Copenhagen in 1838 and was a painter of landscapes and figures of the late Victorian era. He studied art at the Kunstakademi in Copenhagen and then studied abroad in Italy for eight years between 1872 and 1880.
Tying a Rose is a beautiful period interior featuring a woman preparing to go out. She has chosen a red rose to match her fashionable red brocade dress, leaving a yellow rose aside, and gazes at herself in the mirror as she fastens it. Having left his coat on the bed frame nearby, a man reclines at a rakish angle to admire her, crossing his leg and holding her fan extended in his hand. Given his presence in her private chamber and the liberties he has taken, he is probably her husband, or perhaps her lover. He may have just finished his own preparations for going out, as the horsehair brush and his shiny shoes suggest.
Veils draped on either side of her tabletop mirror catch the light from the window at the left, where patterned drapes and plants screen the view from passers by. Bracelets, candlesticks, a jewelry box, and another, closed fan little her dressing table, and her garments hang from hooks on the wall; the console seen in the right corner is for washing up. A family photograph and a more artistic print or drawing hang over the beds against a light wallpaper with vaguely Near Eastern patterns, which find their echo in the rug and the upholstery. The painting is a wonderful window onto the material culture and decorative fashions of the period.
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