An important original oil painting by the German artist Paul Thumann titled “Psyche.” This groundbreaking erotic and risque winged fairy image was the artist’s most revered work. Thumann brought this painting to The United States in 1893 and sold the reproduction rights to “White Rock Table Water” for use in print ads and tin lithographic tip trays (a period example is included with sale).
Originally titled “Psyche at Nature’s Mirror”, the painting was exhibited at The World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 (Chicago World’s Fair). The word “psyche” in Greek means both butterfly and soul. In Greek Mythology, Psyche was a maiden of rare beauty who was envied by Venus and loved by Eros (Cupid). She personified the soul and was made immortal by Zeus.
This was acquired by the prestigious Vose Gallery in Boston in 1913 and was framed at that time by them in a hand carved, signed and numbered Carrig-Rohane wide profile Arts & Crafts frame that like the painting is of museum quality.
Friedrich Paul Thumann was born in Gross Tzchackdsorf (Germany) October 5, 1834 and died in Berlin February 20, 1908. He is considered a historical, portrait and genre painter from the German School. Thumann was also a print maker and illustrator.
Thumann began his formal education in 1853 at the Berlin Art Academy under Professor D’Hubner in Dresden. In 1863, he was invited to study with Professor Ferdinand Pauwels (1830-1904) at the Ecole d’Art in Weimar. Paul Thumann became a full professor at the Ecole d’Art in 1866. In 1879, he was awarded the Berlin Medallion, then in 1880, he was elected to become a member of the Berlin Academy.
Thurman came to the US in 1893 with this painting of “Psyche” and sold the reproduction rights to ‘White Rock Table Water”, the earliest example of this type of licensing that comes to mind. What resulted was a wildly successful and enduring ad campaign, this topless nymph appeared for decades and in varying states of dress and undress as was dictated by the cultural mores of that year.