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Henry W. Keppelmann
A Trompe l’oeil of a Stag’s Head

$15,000

About

Signed, lower right, H. W. Keppelmann Provenance: George Haller, Avon, Connecticut, until 2015, and his estate until 2019 Trompe l’oeil painting flourished in nineteenth-century America at a time when interest in the genre began to wane in Europe, and many of the subjects chosen by American artists were elaborations of those that had proven popular in centuries past. Of these, depictions associated with hunting were perennial favorites. Old Master paintings often recorded the results of specific hunts, such as Oudry’s Head of a Stag taken by the King in the Forest of Compiègne (Musée de Fountainbleau). The present painting is less such a document than a witty substitute for the real thing, a fictive image of a hunting trophy hanging high on a wall. The artist, Henry Keppelmann, was a German-American painter active in Massachusetts in the latter part of the nineteenth century. He was born in Karlsruhe in 1839 (as Heinrich Wilhelm Keppelmann) and studied at the Grandducal Academy of Fine Arts in Mannheim from 1861 to 1865. The following year he immigrated to the United States and soon moved to Boston, where he became an American citizen in 1875. In a document of 1869 he is called a “fresco painter” and in 1880 Keppelmann was in fact paid for “frescoing” the Town Hall of Westford, Massachusetts. From 1881 to 1886 he is recorded in nearby Lowell, with an established studio at 29 Central Street. He was still working in America in 1891, but within a few years appears to have returned to Germany. In 1904 and 1905 he is recorded back in Mannheim, where he died in 1914. Keppelmann’s known works include portraits of people and animals, but nothing quite like the present work is known, nor can we precisely date the painting. It would seem likely to have been painted in the 1880s, when the vogue for trompe l’oeil paintings seems to have heightened, as evidenced by the number of such paintings by Keppelmann’s slightly younger Massachusetts colleague Alexander Pope and the more celebrated painters of the genre Harnett, Peto, and Haberle.

Details

  • Creator
    Henry W. Keppelmann (1839 - 1914)
  • Dimensions
    Height: 28 in. (71.12 cm)Width: 25 in. (63.5 cm)
  • Medium
  • Movement & Style
  • Period
  • Condition
  • Gallery Location
    New York, NY
  • Reference Number
    1stDibs: LU1025778251

Shipping & Returns

  • Shipping
    Rates vary by destination and complexity. We recommend this shipping type based on item size, type and fragility.
    Ships From: New York, NY
  • Return Policy

    This item cannot be returned.

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