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Portrait of Tilla Durieux, 1912

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
95.5×78.9 cm


  • Max Oppenheimer

    (Vienna 1885–1954 New York)

Currently on display at EG
The fingers of the actress Tilla Durieux (1880–1971) appear delicate and elegantly bent. The empty space between the two hands is filled with tension, creating the illusion of her holding an invisible object. In his 1912 Portrait of Tilla Durieux the artist depicted the actress like a lurking feline predator, ready to pounce, with slightly lowered eyelids within an undefined gray-green monochrome space. Merging with the impressive fall of the folds of her clothes and the structure of her wavy hair, the surrounding space, which appears both exciting and uncanny, has the structure of a complex, multi-faceted rocky landscape. Through the use of contours, her pale skin appears carved out of this background like an island. Max Oppenheimer (1885–1954) had asked his friend and art dealer in Berlin, Paul Cassirer (1871–1926), for permission to paint his wife. Though initially skeptical, Cassirer is said to have been delighted with the painting in the end.


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Object data

  • Max Oppenheimer
Portrait of Tilla Durieux
Art movement
Oil on canvas
95.5×78.9 cm
Signed lower right: MOPP.
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 443
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Max Oppenheimer. Expressionist der ersten Stunde, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2023 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 06.10.2023 –25.02.2024).
  • Wien 1900. Aufbruch in die Moderne, hrsg. von Hans-Peter Wipplinger, Wien 2019 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, ab 15.03.2019).
  • Egon Schiele. Melancholie und Provokation, hrsg. von Elisabeth/Diethard Leopold, Wien 2011 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 23.09.2011–19.04.2012).
  • Marie-Agnes von Puttkamer: Max Oppenheimer – MOPP (1885-1954). Leben und malerisches Werk mit einem Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Wien u.a. 1999.
Catalogue raisonne
  • Puttkamer 1999: 74

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i

Sammlung Frey, Zürich (1937); (1)
Nierendorf Gallery, New York (1940); (2)
Privatsammlung Schweiz, Zürich; (3)
Auktion: 27.11.1979 Ketterer Kunst München, 36. Auktion „20. Jahrhundert“, Los-Nr. 1319;
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (1979-1994); (4)
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (seit 1994).

  1. Kunsthalle Bern, Katalog zu „Österreichische Kunst im 20. Jahrhundert, Bern 1937, S. 22, Nr. 71; Musee du Jeu de Paume des Tuileries, Katalog zu „Exposition d’Art Autrichien“, Paris 1937, S. 40, Nr. 512
  2. Marie-Agnes von Puttkamer, Max Oppenheimer - MOPP (1885-1954). Leben und malerisches Werk mit einem Werkverzeichnis der Gemälde, Wien u.a. 1999, S. 236, Nr. 74
  3. Email von Annegret Thoma (Ketterer Kunst) an Robert Holzbauer (LMPS) vom 04.11.2004
  4. Galerie Wolfgang Ketterer, Katalog zur 36. Auktion „20. Jahrhundert“, München 1979, S. 257f., Nr. 1319

For provenance related information, please contact us.