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Portrait of a Lady by Rudolf Carl Mueller(40 views)
Description: Oil on canvas by Rudolf Carl Mueller(1867-1967). This life-size portrait of a serene beauty with Gibson-girl appearance is signed by well-documented German-American artist Rudolf Carl Mueller. Based on the subjects hair style and attire and the furnishings in the background, together with the oxidation of the canvas and stretcher, we believe this was painted in the first decade of the 20th Century, which would make it one of Muellers earliest portraits. The subject is his wife, Angela Regina Choltilde Rinkler, an accomplished painter and sculptor in her own right, whom he married in Berlin in 1900. (Indentification confirmed by his great-niece, Leslie Mueller Stewart.) The portrait has wonderfully mellow, almost grayscale, tones, with touches of color in the expertly-limned drapery and chair in the background. Her compelling eyes follow you everywhere. The canvas, on its original stretcher, measures 30 wide x 40 tall. The frame, which is not original but dates from the late 1940s or early 1950s, is 39 x 49. (NOTE: the signature, Rud C. Mueller, which is virtually impossible to photograph but is visible to the naked eye, is to the left of the drapery roughly even with the fringe on the subjects right sleeve.) Mueller was born in 1867 in Thorn, Prussia/Germany (now Torun, Poland). At the age of 15, he was apprenticed to a decorative painter for three years. He then studied art in Bonn, Berlin and Paris before immigrating to the United States in 1892. He made several trips back to Europe during his lifetime to paint and study in Germany, France and Italy. He settled in the New York area, eventually in Pelham, where he established his studio and painted flowers and landscapes and, later, portraits. He also created decorative paintings and murals for private homes and public buildings in New York, Chicago and San Francisco. For many years his work could be viewed at two New York City landmarks: Schrafft's Restaurant, where he painted the decorative ceiling, and the Plaza Hotel, where he painted the floral murals over the doorways. Other major commissions included 2 WPA murals for Croton School and 2 WPA murals for William Wilson School in Mt. Vernon, NY. His work was included in numerous exhibitions between 1919 and 1963, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1919 and 1920, and The National Arts Club in 1939. Through his long life Mueller painted in several distinctive styles, ranging from formal European-style florals that strongly reflected his classical art training, to later more Impressionistic paintings with looser brush strokes and often brighter palettes. He continued to paint right up until his death shortly after his 100th birthday in 1967.
Condition Report: Very good condition with some minor old repairs - nice patina -probably cleaned in the last 20 years.
Notes: ID # 8256PP.
Provenance: Germany or USA.
Dimensions: Height: 49", Width: 39".
Artist or Maker: Rudolf Carl Mueller
Date: Painting circa 1905, frame circa 1950.