Peter Johann Nepomuk Geiger (Vienna 1805 – 1880 Vienna)
Portrait of an Actor
Watercolour on paper, 288 x 232 mm (11.3 x 9.1 inch) (sight size 242 x 184 mm; 9.5 x 7.2 inch)
Signed Geiger at lower left, and inscribed N: 451. P.J.N. Geiger. Studienkopf. (pen in brown ink, verso) and Zur Erinnering am 5. März 1864 / Geiger (pencil, verso)
- Baron Adalbert von Lanna (1836–1909), Prague (Lugt 2773), his collector’s mark on the verso
- His sale, Gilhofer and Ranschburg, Vienna, 25-27 October 1910, lot 152: ‘P.J.N. Geiger. Männlicher Studienkopf. Aquarell. Signiert.’ (see fig.)
- Private collection, Germany
Born in Vienna, Johann Nepomuk Geiger originally planned to follow the family tradition and become a sculptor, but drawing and painting were his natural element. He illustrated Anton Ziegler's Vaterländischen Immortelle of 1839-40, and until 1848 carried out numerous illustrations of historical works and poetry. Geiger was also patronised by the Austrian Royal Family.
Returning from a journey to the Orient with Prince Ferdinand Maximilian Joseph in 1850 he entered a particularly creative period. In 1853 he became Professor of the Viennese Academy of Art. For the Royal Family he made many works including illustrations of Goethe, Friedrich Schiller and William Shakespeare. He also illustrated oriental life.1
Geiger is nowadays mostly remembered for his explicitly erotic and pornographic drawings and lithographs.
1. A catalogue of Geiger’s works was published as early as 1868, during the artist’s lifetime: Karl L. Wiesboeck, Peter J. N. Geiger's Werke; oder, Verzeichniss saemmtlicher Radirungen, lithographischen Feder- und Kreidezeichnungen ..., Leipzig 1868.Request more information »