Lot 48: Oil Painting „Bismarck as Blacksmith", by Rudolf Wünsch, 1900
December 7, 2012
Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Oil on canvas
Rudolf Wünsch - Austrian painter of the 19th/early 20th century
Signed and dated lower right, "Rud. Wünsch, Gablonz, 1900"
Overall dimensions, framed: 91 x 71 cm
Very good condition
This extraordinary history painting depicts Count Otto von Bismarck, symbolically forging the unification of Germany. Bismarck, in shirtsleeves and a leather apron, stands by an anvil in front of a flickering fire. He is holding the hammer in his right hand and the still glowing sword of German unity, with the inscription 'UNITAS', in his left hand. He is handing the sword, like a torch, up to Germania, who is standing on a shoulder of rock in the cave of the blacksmith. She is clad in a white, sleeveless dress, over which she is wearing a golden chain mail. A floor-length, red velvet cloak lies around her shoulder and on her blond-curled head she is wearing a golden spiked helmet crowned with an eagle. Her left hand is laid on her chest while her right hand is stretched toward Bismarck, ready to receive the sword from the blacksmith. Between the two sits Bismarck's Great Dane, identified as Tyras by his collar. The painting by Wünsch is painted after an original by Guido Schmidt (1834-1922), which was painted in 1866, but is long-since destroyed.The painting is in very good condition, protected by a varnish and with only small, barely visible touch-ups. The precious black-golden frame displays some material loss at the edges. The overall dimensions, framed, are 91 x 71 cm, the dimensions of the stretcher frame are 70 x 50 cm. The painting is signed and dated lower right, "Rud. Wünsch, Gablonz, 1900".