This early 20th-century oil painting by Austrian artist Karl Feiertag (1874-1944) depicts two young women making lace in Burano, Venice.
Sat within a quiet corner of bustling Burano, two lacemakers focus on their craft. Diligently working, having inherited a local tradition dating back several centuries. The details are exquisite with each fold and descriptive nuance rendered with careful observation. Feiertag, respectful of their endeavours, equally worked tirelessly to perfect this enchanting scene.
Venetian lace has a particularly rich heritage with the earliest examples produced in convents for church fineries. It came to prominence with the advent of elaborate ruffs in the 17th century and was highly revered. For his coronation, King Louis XIV commissioned Venetians to produce his splendid lace collar. It took Lucretia and Vittoria Torre around two years to complete.
Today, despite a drop in popularity, Burano remains at the heart of traditional lacemaking with skills passed down from generation to generation. Here, in 1907, Feiertag marvels at this remarkable achievement.
Signed/dated lower right and held within its original frame.
Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 44½” x 49” / 113cm x 124cm
Year of creation: 1907
Labels & Inscriptions: Label on reverse.
Condition: Artwork presents well. Fine craquelure but the paint is stable. Stretcher and frame bowed but both are original. It should hang reasonably well but, if you prefer, the stretcher can be replaced to level it up. We can supply a video to help your decision-making. Frame with some light wear.
Artist’s auction maximum: £3,526
Karl Feiertag trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna and he was a member of the Klosterneuburg artist’s association. He’s represented at the Vienna Museum.
Learn more about Karl Feiertag in our directory.