Arthur Ludwig Ratzka, Portrait Of A Gentleman

Arthur Ludwig Ratzka, Portrait Of A Gentleman

This spirited head study by Hungarian portraitist, Arthur Ludwig Ratzka (b. 1869) captures an aspect of the sitter that extends beyond the aesthetic alone. There’s a glint in his eye as he’s turning towards you - a knowing expression that suggests a story.

Ratzka was a master with pastels - often choosing to work in just two colours, plus black and white. Working quickly enabled him to imbue a portrait with a sense of soul. His sitters seem to carry a degree of vitality - almost as if they’re staring back at you across the decades.

The details of this particular gentleman are unknown but there’s an inscription that reads “First Minister”.

The portrait is signed in the lower right and housed within a good later frame.

Learn more about Arthur Ludwig Ratzka in our directory.

Medium: Pastels
Overall size: 26½” x 34½” / 67cm x 88cm
Year of creation: c. 1915
Condition: Slight tear in the bottom right but overall very presentable.
Artist’s Auction Highlight: £1,283 achieved for a portrait at an auction in 1999.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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