The Solitary (Big Oak) [Le Solitaire, grand chêné]
Department of Art after 1800
As the cycle of life suggested by the notions of motherhood and fertility finds a symbolic
echo in the cycle of the seasons, it is not surprising that spring is personnified as a
beautiful young woman in Franz von Stuck’s allegorical composition.
Spring celebrates the returned fertility of nature. The woman’s naked body is only covered by her softly undulating hair. The flowers that she wears as a crown and holds in her hands find an echo in the blossoming trees of the background. Her seductive gaze is typical of the eroticism Stuck used to infuse into his compositions. Stuck indicated the painting’s title (“Frühling” in German) directly on the panel, emphasising the emblematic quality of the work.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.