Alois Erdtelt (1851-1911) was a German artist. He came from a peasant family and received his first lessons from a room painter. He studied at the Berlin Academy, his mentor was Carl Steffeck, then at the Munich Academy from 1874-1879 with Wilhelm von Dieza. In his work he dealt with landscape painting and became famous as a portraitist. “The portraits of women and girls by Erdtelt are masterpieces of portrait art in German realistic painting of the late 19th century.”*
Description of the picture:
The model is a teenage girl, shown in a bust view. She is dressed in a black blouse with a white lace collar. The figure looks directly at the viewer, establishing eye contact with him. Her face is pale, illuminated by bright light. The strong color accents are red lips and dark, almost black irises. The face is highlighted by light and shade. The girl’s face is framed by brown-red, short, curly hair, tied with a ribbon. The figure is shown against an intensely red background.
The color palette in the work is limited, black, red, and white tones dominate in the center. When portraying the girl, the artist focused on the effects of light. It seems as if the figure is illuminated by an intense white light, which emphasizes the paleness of the skin and brings out the features of the face. The effect of the light is also visible on the red background, on which the girl casts a shadow.