Barthel Gilles - Mädchen mit Schleier
Mädchen mit Schleier
Egg tempera on fibreboard 49.9 x 40.7 cm Framed under glass. Signed and dated 'B. Gilles 1937' in yellow lower left. - Minor rubbing to the margins due to framing, occasional minimal loss of colour to edges.
In the course of his artistic work, the painter Barthel Gilles, who lived in Cologne, experimented repeatedly with different painting techniques and styles. Influenced by studying the “Kölner Malerschule” and other masters of the 15th and 16th century, he predominantly carried out his works in a meticulous glazing technique with egg tempera on panel (cf. Eva Krabbe/Adam C. Oellers, Barthel Gilles, ein Maler der Neuen Sachlichkeit, Aachen 1982, p. 7 ff.). A specific Rhenish characteristic of New Objectivity is evident in Gilles' works: “The Cologne members of New Objectivity tend towards a classicistic direction which is surely also attributed to the genius loci, a Rhenish artistic tradition with a strong influence originating from the Middle Ages.” (cited from: Oellers/Euler-Schmidt, p. 46)
From 1937 onwards, Gilles revives his New Objectivist period and repeatedly takes up religious subjects again. The present portrait of a girl, executed in highly technical mastery as a half-length portrait, is partially derived from Christian iconography and features references to typical portraits of the Virgin Mary. The painting can be distinguished by its particular attention to detail which is deliberately reminiscent of medieval portraits. Despite the young woman's timid and sweet gaze, the portrait is able to evoke an uncertainty in the observer typical of the painting of the New Objectivity and which is emphasised by the dissonant triad of the colours lemon yellow, blue-green and orange.
List of works
Acquired directly from the artist by the former owner; Private possession, Rhineland-Palatinate
Adam C. Oellers/Michael Euler-Schmidt, Barthel Gilles 1891-1977. Leben und Werk, Recklinghausen 1987, p. 71 with full-page colour illus. no. 39