Wilhelm Friedrich Giessel, Checkmate

Wilhelm Friedrich Giessel, Checkmate

This charming oil painting by Austrian artist Wilhelm Friedrich Giessel (1795-1858) depicts a courting couple in the 17th-century. The scene is lit by a single candle as a lady leans towards a seated gentleman. They’ve concluded a chess match and she’s victorious. The king is trapped - cornered and unable to move.

This clever little piece uses chess as an analogy for courtship. She’s moving towards her partner, echoing the story on the chessboard. He’s leaning back, a wistful look of resignation, the game is over. Giessel is taking a wry look at male commitment.

During the late 19th-century, artists often referenced the past to allude to a simpler time of kinship, courtship and love.

The painting is signed in the lower left and housed within a splendid rococo revival frame.

Learn more about Wilhelm Friedrich Giessel in our directory.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 23½” x 20½” / 60cm x 52cm
Year of creation: c. 1910
Condition: Overall very presentable. Minor craquelure. Canvas relined. Frame with some wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £3,200 achieved for an oil painting in 2020.

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