Walter Jungblut, Self-Portrait

Walter Jungblut, Self-Portrait

How does it feel when your father and brother are successful artists but you’re still seeking recognition? When those around you are working in a traditional style, yet you’re drawn towards something unusual?

Walter Jungblut (1892-1941) was the son of the highly regarded landscape painter, Johann Jungblut (1860-1912), who is known for his fine extensive landscapes. While his brother Emil Jungblut (1888-1955) studied at the Düsseldorf Art Academy and produced a range of remarkable sculptures. Yet, despite this, it seems that Walter preferred to work against the grain and paint with gesture and expression - even though this led to very limited exposure during his lifetime.

In this self-portrait from around 1930, what do you see? How do you feel about the brushwork and energy? For us, we see anguish, a degree of suffering, yet also pride.

Is the narrative a direct consequence of his life as an outsider?

It’s also interesting that this self-portrait has been painted over another work, which is still visible around the edges. Did he angrily lay down the oils - unhappy with the previous piece - and paint through a haze of frustration?

Walter Jungblut’s story raises more questions than answers as there’s so little information available. He was an enigmatic character with an interesting background - and this portrait speaks volumes.

The painting is signed in the lower right.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 21” x 29” / 54cm x 74cm
Year of creation: c. 1930
Provenance: Germany
Condition: Craquelure throughout but it seems to add to the sense of drama. A few minor paint losses but the paint seems broadly stable.

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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