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"Shepherd with Montbèliarde Calf" 
Julius Paul Junghanns (1876 - 1958) 
Oil on canvas
23 7/8 x 30 (35 x 41 frame) inches
Signed l.l and dated "34" and signed on the verso
Private Italian Collection


This exquisite painting, bathed in light, is a very fine example of Professor Junghanns exercising his considerable skills in depicting the relationships between the humans and their animals. The amazing brushwork technique emphasizes Junghanns talent at creating a sense of color by building layers of complementary and contrasting colors to make a visually unified perception. It's truly breathtaking when seen in person.


Cattle were considered a very important resource and a sure parameter for evaluating the wealth of rural society. Families raised livestock with care and dedication because it was the main source of livelihood. In this particular depiction, it's easy to imagine the trope of an Old Masters painting turned on its head: Instead of a raging stallion with a princely figure in all his finery atop his magnificent steed, we find a boy and not a man. Not only is it just a boy but the boy is smaller, lower, behind his calf and mostly eclipsed by shadows cast by the calf. Without question, the human is subordinate to the calf. Only a hundred years prior, such an image would be a radical departure from convention if not outright blasphemy. Sometimes a cow is not just a cow. 


On Junghann's finest pieces, such as this one, base colors are used, and then myriad colors are applied building up to what your eyes perceive as more uniform and naturalistic colors. Though his paintings are rather a trompe l'oeil in that it's many different colors and many different layers to make a consistent, pleasing work of art. You can see the beautiful brush strokes very clearly as well. 


Julius Paul Junghanns was a highly revered animalier portrait painter, particularly that of cattle and horses though he also painted the portraits of his three children with their family dogs.


The style he develops is very close to the Barbizoniers. Junghanns much preferred painting in plein air and in his compositions, he enhances the very close relationship between humans and animals; a bond characterized by very intense emotions and sensations that influenced his real and artistic life. Cattle were considered a very important resource and a sure parameter for evaluating the wealth of rural society. Families raised livestock with care and dedication because it was the main source of livelihood.


Junghanns attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Dresden and continued his specialization in Munich where he moved from 1899, he was a student of Heinrich Von Zugel, when he began his course of studies, he knew exactly what he wanted to become ... an Animalier painter, this desire stayed true for the rest of his life.


He obtained numerous medals and awards for his works, was appointed a member of the Bund Deutschen Zeichneder Kunstler commission in Munich, and later joined the Bildender Kunstler Sezession Association in Munich. He also was distinguished in the field of academic teaching as he was appointed Director of the Chair of Animalier and Plein Air Painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Düsseldorf where he remained there for over 40 years.


Junghanns is a well-known painter in Germany, Europe and the world over. Many of his works are part of public and private collections and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums in Berlin, Hagen, Munich, Düsseldorf, Bonn, Gdansk, Konigsberg, Krefeld, Chemnitz, Karlsruhe, Manheim, Vienna, London, Madrid, Antwerp, Pittsburgh, Chicago, Boston, etc. This level of internationality is especially notable considering his artistic career coincided with the restrictive period of the Third Reich.


Junghanns devoted himself to subjects of the animalier genre, linked to everyday life while maintaining a dense and very accentuated symbolic meaning. In his finest works, nature played an undisputed role of protagonist.


In 1958 his funeral took place with a very large audience in attendance to celebrate his life. To date there is no single archive that encompasses all the works starting from his numerous sketches to his paintings and small scenes. Distinguished professors and students of the Academy of Fine Arts of Dusseldorf paid homage to him, and the newspapers featured numerous articles that maintain a vision of artistic integrity and a testimony to his skill and devotion.


His works of art can be found in public and private collections internationally.

"Shepherd with Montbèliarde Calf" Julius Paul Junghanns (1876 - 1958)

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