An exquisite museum-quality late-19th-century oil painting by German painter, Friedrich Kraus (1826-1894). It depicts a lady of means sipping champagne within an opulent interior. She wears a sumptuous peach dress with an embroidered lace wrap and stands before a beautiful antique tapestry.
It’s interesting to consider whether this piece originated as a commission or an observation. If it’s a commission, the lady here clearly had a point to make regarding the correct way to sup a glass of champers - with the pinky finger gently extended.
Kraus painted this towards the end of his life with five decades of experience behind him. He had the honour of studying under, and working alongside, some of the greatest painters of his generation including Thomas Couture (1815-1879) and Édouard Manet (1832-1883). This experience primed him to become an important and well-loved salon painter in Paris, Rome and Berlin.
The painting is housed within an extraordinary gilded frame with pink highlighting and foliate. The reverse bears an exhibition label from the Berlin International Art Exhibition of 1891 and the official catalogue entry can be found here. It appears that originally the piece was titled 'Moderne Bacchantin' and exhibited alongside 'Antike Bacchantin' - a playful reference to a modern day worshipper of wine.
Medium: Oil on canvas Overall size: 30” x 40” / 77cm x 102cm Year of creation: 1891 Provenance: Monaco Condition: Overall very presentable following a light restoration with no significant issues. The canvas has been relined. Frame with general age-related wear but in good order. Artist’s auction highlight: £9,496 achieved for 'Esmeralda' at auction in 2011.