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GEORG PAULI. After the bath.

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Description

Oil on canvas, 76 x 59 cm. Signed G Pauli -11, on verso signed and dated G Pauli 1911.

The painting was executed in the autumn of 1911 in Georg Pauli's studio on Rue Denfert-Rochereau in Montparnasse. There Pauli painted models between one and four o'clock in the afternoons, as part of his studies for the frescoes “A healthy soul in a healthy body” - the first Cubist murals in Sweden. The frescoes were erected in the stairwell of the Jönköping Higher General Teaching Works in 1912 (now Per Brahegymnasiums). As evidenced by a stamp on verso, the auction's painting is done on a canvas from the renowned firm of Paul Foinet Fils, whose shop at 21 Rue Bréa in Paris provided canvases, paints and brushes to many of the foremost artists of the time.

“It is not possible to live on only old masters, you have to see what is done in time.” (Georg Pauli)

Georg Pauli is in many ways unprecedented in Swedish art history. Like no other, he became a significant player in most of the art directions that emerged during the dynamic period 1880-1920, the golden age of Swedish art. Most startling is that he was one of the first Swedish artists to take an interest in Cubism, even though he belonged to an older generation that, with a few exceptions, was completely dismissive of this pioneering art direction. It is even the case that Georg Pauli came to be called the pioneer of Cubism in Sweden and his most famous work, the frescoes in Jönköping's higher general textbook “A healthy soul in a healthy body” from 1912, are not only the first Cubist murals in our country, but they are also among the most important cubist works in Sweden in general.

During the academic era of the 1870s, Georg Pauli had belonged to a small exclusive group of students who called themselves “Idealists”. They had the artists of the Italian Renaissance as their prime role models and dreamed of, like Michelangelo and Raphael, “painting great pictures on the walls,” at a time when the lion's share of students at the Academy of Fine Arts admired Rembrandt and called themselves “Realists.” Already here one can see the interest in monumental painting, which would later form the basis for Pauli's interest in the emerging Cubism of the early 1910s. In between, Georg Pauli worked both French-influenced outdoor painting in the famous artists' colony in Grez in the 1880s, symbolist and synthetic painting at the beginning of the 1890s, and atmospheric, national romantic painting at home in Sweden in the later part of the 1890s. In terms of synthetism, he actually foreshadowed this art direction by a decade when, as early as 1880, he executed the painting “Spinnerska på Capri” (National Museum), a work characterized by its for the time unique superficiality and vigorous, rewriting outlines.

When Georg Pauli's alma mater, the school department in his hometown of Jönköping, began constructing a new school building in 1910, Pauli was commissioned to paint two frescoes in the stairwell. The theme that he chose for the frescoes was “A healthy soul in a healthy body”. In order to prepare for the great task, Georg Pauli traveled in the autumn of 1911 to Paris, where he was to carry out the studies for the frescoes. Already the previous autumn he had been in Paris with his wife, the artist Hanna Pauli, to look at the latest in the art world. The couple then saw, among other things, Auguste Pellerin's famous Cézanne collection. They also visited the homes of siblings Gertrude and Leo Stein, where they marveled at ultra-modern art by names such as Matisse and Picasso. During his stay in Paris in the autumn of 1910, Georg Pauli also got to see samples of Cubist art for the first time and it was this avant-garde art direction that came to interest him mainly.

When, in the autumn of 1911, he returns to Paris to carry out his studies on the frescoes in Jönköping's right-wing public textbook, it is precisely Cubism's decorative possibilities for monumental painting that he wants to investigate. Since the model studies are central to the process of working with the frescoes, the greater variety of models that Paris offers also attracts. Once in the French capital, Pauli visits the large Autumn Salon, where the Cubist painters are now exhibiting for the first time in assembled troupe. He is both astonished and fascinated by what he sees and writes in his diary: “Underneath these 'tokeries' must lie some meaning, some reasoning. If I could get acquainted with a Cubist who had patience with my Småland simpleton, I would gladly pay both time and money to have my scales removed. I want to know the argument, for without this knowledge criticism and judgments become irrefutable.”

Georg Pauli rents a spartan studio on Rue Denfert-Rochereau in Montparnasse, and he procures canvases from Paul Foinet Fils's artist shop at 21 Rue Bréa. The diligent Pauli applies a strict work schedule, beginning with his drawing on the cartons for the frescoes between half ten and twelve in the morning. After ingested lunch, he then paints models in the studio from one o'clock until four o'clock in the afternoon. Half an hour later, two hours of hook-drawing follow at an academy on Boulevard Raspail. After the dinner meal, another couple of hours of work with the cartons is not infrequently added.

One of the model studies that Georg Pauli performs in his studio in Montparnasse in the autumn of 1911, in preparation for the frescoes, is precisely the painting of the auction with the woman getting herself in order after the bath. The motif can undeniably seem entirely in keeping with the theme of the forthcoming frescoes, “A Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body”. In the frescoes, however, Pauli lets the healthy soul be represented by the studying youths and the healthy body of sporting naked youths. When he works with the paintings of the auction, it is mainly to find solutions to how he can, with the help of Cubism, portray the naked human body and its movement patterns. Another aim is to investigate how he is to make the body thus formed naturally interact with the vegetation which he intends at this stage to be included in the finished frescoes. The Cubist elements of the painting can perhaps be seen mainly in the representation of the woman's breast, the right with its pronounced circular shape and the left with a pointed shape. Georg Pauli has told how he sought to “use the round and straight lines of the body to support each other”. The model's breasts, to that extent, can be seen as a first sign of this aspiration on the part of the artist.

An equally interesting piece of art history in the painting of the auction is the woman's arms, which exhibit movement patterns that then reappear in the most important lot of the frescoes. Both frescoes include students and sporting youngsters. One fresco depicts mathematics studies and wrestling while the other fresco depicts Latin studies and javelin throwing. It is precisely the party with the spear throwers that is most famous in the frescoes and is usually reproduced when talking about Cubism in the artwork. The first correspondence in terms of arms may well be seen as more of a curiosity, as there are actually similarities between the spear-throwing youngster's right arm - the arm with which he throws the spear - and the way the female model holds her left arm. Although they both perform completely different tasks and have their said arms in completely different positions, these arms actually have similar angles and tension.

If we compare the right arm of the female model with the right arm of the figure standing waiting for his turn behind the javelin thrower, we see a more obvious similarity in the posture of the arms. Here it starts to get really interesting, because in an oil study for the party with the spear throwers, which can be found at Malmö Art Museum, you see how the young man who is standing waiting for his turn, holds his right arm in a completely different way. While in the finished fresco he rests his right palm slightly relaxed on the tip of the spear, in a movement pattern consistent with the movement pattern of the female model's right arm, in Malmö Art Museum's oil studio, he instead holds a firm grip on the spear with his right hand a little further down the spear. In this way, a completely different degree of tension is portrayed in the arm, while making the spear more prominent and creating a vertical line that significantly breaks the composition. The young man who is in the process of throwing his spear, as well as the third naked youth, who is sitting relaxed waiting for his turn, are in accordance with the finished fresco. By changing the position of the standing juvenile's right arm to one consistent with that of the female model, Georg Pauli in his completed fresco has achieved a better balance in terms of the different degrees of muscular tension of the three juveniles and at the same time managed to eliminate the division of composition created by the spear in the study. All in all, this results in a significantly better flow in the composition, as a result of which the viewer's gaze is naturally directed towards the spear-throwing youth.

We can thus see how Georg Pauli has taken a central element from the auction painting and implemented it in the final fresco. Given that the painting was done in 1911 and Georg Pauli only realises in January 1912 his desire to become acquainted with a Cubist, since he then begins his studies for André Lhote, it is interesting to note that he nevertheless returns to the painting of the auction and finds in it a solution that becomes decisive for the final appearance of the fresco.

His studies for André Lhote began with the drawing of a female model, and in a letter to Richard Bergh, Pauli describes this as follows: “One week later I take lessons in cubist drawing for Lhote, who is on a borderline, but in any case is fully in the system when he is going to teach. And he does that...

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Description

Oil on canvas, 76 x 59 cm. Signed G Pauli -11, on verso signed and dated G Pauli 1911.

The painting was executed in the autumn of 1911 in Georg Pauli's studio on Rue Denfert-Rochereau in Montparnasse. There Pauli painted models between one and four o'clock in the afternoons, as part of his studies for the frescoes “A healthy soul in a healthy body” - the first Cubist murals in Sweden. The frescoes were erected in the stairwell of the Jönköping Higher General Teaching Works in 1912 (now Per Brahegymnasiums). As evidenced by a stamp on verso, the auction's painting is done on a canvas from the renowned firm of Paul Foinet Fils, whose shop at 21 Rue Bréa in Paris provided canvases, paints and brushes to many of the foremost artists of the time.

“It is not possible to live on only old masters, you have to see what is done in time.” (Georg Pauli)

Georg Pauli is in many ways unprecedented in Swedish art history. Like no other, he became a significant player in most of the art directions that emerged during the dynamic period 1880-1920, the golden age of Swedish art. Most startling is that he was one of the first Swedish artists to take an interest in Cubism, even though he belonged to an older generation that, with a few exceptions, was completely dismissive of this pioneering art direction. It is even the case that Georg Pauli came to be called the pioneer of Cubism in Sweden and his most famous work, the frescoes in Jönköping's higher general textbook “A healthy soul in a healthy body” from 1912, are not only the first Cubist murals in our country, but they are also among the most important cubist works in Sweden in general.

During the academic era of the 1870s, Georg Pauli had belonged to a small exclusive group of students who called themselves “Idealists”. They had the artists of the Italian Renaissance as their prime role models and dreamed of, like Michelangelo and Raphael, “painting great pictures on the walls,” at a time when the lion's share of students at the Academy of Fine Arts admired Rembrandt and called themselves “Realists.” Already here one can see the interest in monumental painting, which would later form the basis for Pauli's interest in the emerging Cubism of the early 1910s. In between, Georg Pauli worked both French-influenced outdoor painting in the famous artists' colony in Grez in the 1880s, symbolist and synthetic painting at the beginning of the 1890s, and atmospheric, national romantic painting at home in Sweden in the later part of the 1890s. In terms of synthetism, he actually foreshadowed this art direction by a decade when, as early as 1880, he executed the painting “Spinnerska på Capri” (National Museum), a work characterized by its for the time unique superficiality and vigorous, rewriting outlines.

When Georg Pauli's alma mater, the school department in his hometown of Jönköping, began constructing a new school building in 1910, Pauli was commissioned to paint two frescoes in the stairwell. The theme that he chose for the frescoes was “A healthy soul in a healthy body”. In order to prepare for the great task, Georg Pauli traveled in the autumn of 1911 to Paris, where he was to carry out the studies for the frescoes. Already the previous autumn he had been in Paris with his wife, the artist Hanna Pauli, to look at the latest in the art world. The couple then saw, among other things, Auguste Pellerin's famous Cézanne collection. They also visited the homes of siblings Gertrude and Leo Stein, where they marveled at ultra-modern art by names such as Matisse and Picasso. During his stay in Paris in the autumn of 1910, Georg Pauli also got to see samples of Cubist art for the first time and it was this avant-garde art direction that came to interest him mainly.

When, in the autumn of 1911, he returns to Paris to carry out his studies on the frescoes in Jönköping's right-wing public textbook, it is precisely Cubism's decorative possibilities for monumental painting that he wants to investigate. Since the model studies are central to the process of working with the frescoes, the greater variety of models that Paris offers also attracts. Once in the French capital, Pauli visits the large Autumn Salon, where the Cubist painters are now exhibiting for the first time in assembled troupe. He is both astonished and fascinated by what he sees and writes in his diary: “Underneath these 'tokeries' must lie some meaning, some reasoning. If I could get acquainted with a Cubist who had patience with my Småland simpleton, I would gladly pay both time and money to have my scales removed. I want to know the argument, for without this knowledge criticism and judgments become irrefutable.”

Georg Pauli rents a spartan studio on Rue Denfert-Rochereau in Montparnasse, and he procures canvases from Paul Foinet Fils's artist shop at 21 Rue Bréa. The diligent Pauli applies a strict work schedule, beginning with his drawing on the cartons for the frescoes between half ten and twelve in the morning. After ingested lunch, he then paints models in the studio from one o'clock until four o'clock in the afternoon. Half an hour later, two hours of hook-drawing follow at an academy on Boulevard Raspail. After the dinner meal, another couple of hours of work with the cartons is not infrequently added.

One of the model studies that Georg Pauli performs in his studio in Montparnasse in the autumn of 1911, in preparation for the frescoes, is precisely the painting of the auction with the woman getting herself in order after the bath. The motif can undeniably seem entirely in keeping with the theme of the forthcoming frescoes, “A Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body”. In the frescoes, however, Pauli lets the healthy soul be represented by the studying youths and the healthy body of sporting naked youths. When he works with the paintings of the auction, it is mainly to find solutions to how he can, with the help of Cubism, portray the naked human body and its movement patterns. Another aim is to investigate how he is to make the body thus formed naturally interact with the vegetation which he intends at this stage to be included in the finished frescoes. The Cubist elements of the painting can perhaps be seen mainly in the representation of the woman's breast, the right with its pronounced circular shape and the left with a pointed shape. Georg Pauli has told how he sought to “use the round and straight lines of the body to support each other”. The model's breasts, to that extent, can be seen as a first sign of this aspiration on the part of the artist.

An equally interesting piece of art history in the painting of the auction is the woman's arms, which exhibit movement patterns that then reappear in the most important lot of the frescoes. Both frescoes include students and sporting youngsters. One fresco depicts mathematics studies and wrestling while the other fresco depicts Latin studies and javelin throwing. It is precisely the party with the spear throwers that is most famous in the frescoes and is usually reproduced when talking about Cubism in the artwork. The first correspondence in terms of arms may well be seen as more of a curiosity, as there are actually similarities between the spear-throwing youngster's right arm - the arm with which he throws the spear - and the way the female model holds her left arm. Although they both perform completely different tasks and have their said arms in completely different positions, these arms actually have similar angles and tension.

If we compare the right arm of the female model with the right arm of the figure standing waiting for his turn behind the javelin thrower, we see a more obvious similarity in the posture of the arms. Here it starts to get really interesting, because in an oil study for the party with the spear throwers, which can be found at Malmö Art Museum, you see how the young man who is standing waiting for his turn, holds his right arm in a completely different way. While in the finished fresco he rests his right palm slightly relaxed on the tip of the spear, in a movement pattern consistent with the movement pattern of the female model's right arm, in Malmö Art Museum's oil studio, he instead holds a firm grip on the spear with his right hand a little further down the spear. In this way, a completely different degree of tension is portrayed in the arm, while making the spear more prominent and creating a vertical line that significantly breaks the composition. The young man who is in the process of throwing his spear, as well as the third naked youth, who is sitting relaxed waiting for his turn, are in accordance with the finished fresco. By changing the position of the standing juvenile's right arm to one consistent with that of the female model, Georg Pauli in his completed fresco has achieved a better balance in terms of the different degrees of muscular tension of the three juveniles and at the same time managed to eliminate the division of composition created by the spear in the study. All in all, this results in a significantly better flow in the composition, as a result of which the viewer's gaze is naturally directed towards the spear-throwing youth.

We can thus see how Georg Pauli has taken a central element from the auction painting and implemented it in the final fresco. Given that the painting was done in 1911 and Georg Pauli only realises in January 1912 his desire to become acquainted with a Cubist, since he then begins his studies for André Lhote, it is interesting to note that he nevertheless returns to the painting of the auction and finds in it a solution that becomes decisive for the final appearance of the fresco.

His studies for André Lhote began with the drawing of a female model, and in a letter to Richard Bergh, Pauli describes this as follows: “One week later I take lessons in cubist drawing for Lhote, who is on a borderline, but in any case is fully in the system when he is going to teach. And he does that...

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Sweden, Stockholm
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