(Temesvar 1860 – Roma 1933)
Study of a drapery
Charcoal and chalk on brownish paper, 532 x 340 mm
Born in Hungary, but moved at an early age to Vienna, Adolf Hirschl studied at the Austrian Academy, where he was a pupil of the historical allegorical painter August Eisenmenger and the orientalist Leopold Karl Müller. Endowed with great technical qualities, from the 1880s Hirschl became the protagonist of a brilliant artistic career sealed by the conferral of numerous prizes. Among these, one of the first is the Rompreis of 1882, thanks to which he can go to Egypt and Rome, where he stops until 1884. It is an opportunity to deepen the study of antiquity and to consolidate his fascination for the Ancient Rome, in particular for the crucial moment of transition from the Empire to the themes of the nascent Christianity, the cultural world from which he draws and which flows into the great compositions of the decade and beyond.
This refined drapery study refers to the Wedding Procession in Ancient Rome (1891) – a work currently of unknown location. Debtor, in the finished work, of the archaeological perspicuity of the French antiquing vein a la Gérôme, in this study, however, the grandiose academic setting gives way to a greater freedom of expression and fluency of the stroke, in particular in the vaporous ruffles of the fabric and in its palpable thin consistency that adheres revealing its shapes, to the underlying female body.