CHRISTIAN VON SCHNEIDAU (1893 - 1976) "An Appeal" Oil on canvas, 40" x 26"
Excerpt from the book, "C. VON SCHNEIDAU" by Janet B. Dominik, published by Petersen Publishing Company.
The Provincetown paintings were exhibited in Los Angeles at Kanst Galleries in February, 1921. Antony Anderson commented on their "energy," "life," and great play of color. At the same show, Von Schneidau exhibited a work entitled An Appeal (also called Portrait of Miss S.), one of his earliest portraits of young women in Los Angeles society for which he became so well known in the 1920's. The painting, painted in just a few hours, was intended as an appeal for charity. Hidden in the folds of the drapery is the faint image of a child's face which appears to be caressed by the fingertips of the woman's right hand. It is a visualization of the needs for which the beautiful young woman is appealing.
It is in An Appeal and in other portraits and figure studies from the 1920s that the influence of Richard Miller is most apparent. The "brilliance of color" was of major importance in Miller's work. especially in his glittering figure studies of women in opulent dress. Although the flesh tones are carefully modeled, the background is alive with unmixed color, creating a shimmering effect. Sunlight streams into the painting through windows behind the models and vibrates off of their clothing, jewels, and mirrors.
Christian Von Schneidau (1893 - 1976)
Christian Von Schneidau was born in Smoland, Sweden on March 24, 1893 of noble birth. Von Schneidau received his early education from private tutors and studied at the Stockholm Academy of Fine Art. He immigrated to the U.S. in 1906 and spent the first ten years as a resident of Minnesota. He continued his art studies at the AIC under Reynolds and Buehr, and in the East under H. M. Walcott, C. W. Hawthorne, and Richard Miller.
After settling in Los Angeles in 1917, he operated the Von Schneidau School of Fine Art. Married twice, he was the husband of musician Esther Bergman during 1923-31 and in 1938 married one of his pupils, Signe Larson Nelson. During the 1940s he taught at the Businessmen's Art Institute in Los Angeles and in the 1950s spent two years in Alaska. While there, he painted the Eskimos and portraits of governors Heinzelman and Egan. In his later years Christian Von Schneidau taught portraiture at the Bakersfield Art Ass'n. Known primarily as a portraitist, Von Schneidau was equally skilled at landscapes and murals. Christian Von Schneidau died in Orange, CA on Jan. 6, 1976.
Source: Edan Hughes, "Artists in California 1786-1940"