"Portrait of Two Dogs", 1873
Clara von Wille (German, 1838-1883)
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower left
17-7/8 x 15-1/2 inches
The following was translated from German:
Clara von Wille (German, 1838-1883) was the last of four daughters of the royal Prussian hussar major Carl Friedrich von Böttcher (1785–1857) and his wife Juliane (Julie) Wilhelmine Charlotte von Buggenhagen (1797–1871). Born in Düsseldorf. On May 31, 1859, von Wille married the Düsseldorf landscape and genre painter August von Wille in Rüdesheim am Rhein , with whom she lived in Weimar from 1859 to 1862. Afterwards, she returned to Düsseldorf. She gave birth to their son Fritz, who later also became an important landscape painter, in 1860. Prior to her return to Düsseldorf, she gave birth to a second son.
As a private student of Karl Ferdinand Sohn and Ludwig Knaus, she trained as a painter. She then studied under the French animal painter Rosa Bonheur.
"With Resting Hunting Dogs" she exhibited a painting for the first time in the annual exhibition of the Art Association for the Rhineland and Westphalia in 1856/57 in Düsseldorf. In the exhibitions at the Dusseldorf Art Shops of Eduard Schulte and Bismeyer & Kraus, she showed regularly with "game scenes."
The following pictures were purchased for the Cologne Cathedral Lottery Building: "After the Hunt" (1865), "Chicken Dog" (1877) and "Moving Out for the Hunt" (1880).
In the Breslau Art Exhibition in 1871 she showed "Useless Occupation," "The Uninvited Guest," "Dog Portrait," "Ulmer Mastiff" and "Playing Young Foxes."
Her paintings were reproduced and appeared in illustrated magazines of the time. Her painting "An Eerie Guest (a Crow Attacks Two Dogs in Front of their Hut)" was a featured wood engraving in periodical Schorer's Family Sheet.