A characterful early 20th-century portrait of a grizzled old salt. He’s heading back home after a hard day on rough seas.
The artist, Wilhelm Gdanietz (1893-1962), has used a broad brush to daub in areas of light as it catches the various undulations.
Gdanietz led a difficult life but overcame the odds to become a very successful painter. At the age of two, he became deaf following a bout of scarlet fever, which led to him spending much of his childhood at a ‘deaf and dumb’ institution. During this time, he must’ve found great solace in his art as, by the age of 19, he gained access to the Academy in Düsseldorf.
His style was firmly rooted in the past and he was particularly inspired by the Dutch old masters. For a while, he moved to Holland where he ran a studio in Volendam. In 1930, he retired to Düsseldorf where he lived in a cottage decorated with Delft tiles and Dutch antiques. It seems that Holland remained close to his heart throughout his life.
The portrait is signed in the lower left.
Medium: Oil on canvas Overall size: 12” x 16” / 30cm x 41cm Year of creation: c. 1930 Provenance: Poland Condition: Overall very good. Artist’s auction highlight: £1,486 achieved for ‘Great Achievement, a Volendam Fisherman completing a ship Model’ in 2004 at Christie's.