John William Orth (1889 - 1976)
John William Orth (1889 - 1976)
John William Orth (1889 - 1976)
"Untitled Female Portrait"
Oil Painting on Masonite
29 1/2 x 34 1/2 inches (original frame)
25 x 30 inches (masonite)
Signed: "J.W. Orth" (low left)
This stunning female oil painting portrait by the well known Californian artist John William Orth projects a wonderful example to his overall quality and caliber as a highly active 20th century artist. This work is untitled but could possibly show his wife Didi who he frequently painted portraits of. Signed in the lower left corner in bright red paint, "J.W. Orth" then dated just below, "July 1949" easily distinguishable off the green background. The female in this portrait is devastatingly beautiful from her soft facial features from her eyes and lips to her red painted finger nails. John painted this work with an extreme attention to detail absolutely capturing her total persona; when viewing this you feel as though your looking through a window to a live figure, not oil.
This woman is delicately placed outside in a lush green garden with an almost radiant light focusing on her. Their is a group of white flowers to her lower left and ferns to the right. All this greenery well represents the beauty and life the subject is filled with. Delicately decorated John painted a charming pearl necklace and gold bracelet on her wrist. The gold of her jewelry and red of her lips / nails creates an excellent contrast.
The brushwork this painting consists of is impressive to view up close which reveals countless fine strokes that organically shape and create this picture. Seen in the face of the woman are many overlapping fine strokes that add an incredible depth and luminescence to her skin. The condition is phenomenal free from any king of wear or damage, their is just minor edge wear where the work sits under the frame and minor cosmetic blemishes to the frame. Resting in its attractive mid century wood frame this original painting is ready to be hung and enjoyed in any collection. Rarely does such a fine example surface for sale with many being your average floral still life or atmospheric religious compositions.
If you have any questions please contact us directly via email submission below or by phone at (407)-739-3068.
Biography from John W. Orth Studio
John W. Orth was born in Bavaria in 1889. He sold his first painting, a water color, when he was 13. At age 15 studied under a scholarship at Nuremberg's College of Fine Arts. Three years later, again on a scholarship, he attended Munich's Academy of Fine Arts. From there he went on to study at the Art Academy Julien in Paris and then traveled throughout Europe, studying work by the Old Masters.
For Nuremberg's Albrecht Durer Museum, he was commissioned to reproduce a number of Durer's paintings, and representatives of The Rhineland's Barmen Museum purchased his painting of The Prodigal Son. In 1922, Louis Mayer, an accomplished artist himself, purchased Orth's The Prophet from among thousands of paintings displayed at Munich's Glas Palast. He declared Orth's painting "the work of a genius," and for three years The Prophet was hung, by invitation, in the Brooklyn Art Museum.
Already an established artist at age 34, Orth left his troubled country in 1923 to escape certain persecution for his outspoken liberal views on race, religion and politics. He came to America to start anew. Here, he felt certain, his restless spirit could continue to grow, his career to flourish in an environment of freedom, which encouraged individual expression and unrestrained thought.
In the United States, John Orth did portraits of notables including Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Marian Anderson, Charles Laughton and Zazu Pitts. In Houston, Texas the financier Jesse H. Jones, now deceased, commissioned Orth to do portraits of all the U.S. presidents. The paintings now hang in the University of Houston's Anderson Memorial Library, and the collection of the Texas Hall of Remembrance in Austin his portrait of President Eisenhower. His double portrait of John F. Kennedy with his brother Robert earned one of Orth's most cherished rewards, a letter from the late Robert F. Kennedy warmly commending him for his exceptional artistry.
The paintings of William Orth range from impeccable miniatures to sweeping murals and encompass a wide range of subjects: florals, landscapes, seascapes, nudes, portraits, religious scenes and his latest works, "meditations of the soul." Orth has earned worked in other media including sculpture, mosaic creations, architectural designs and models.
Today (1968), at 79, Orth remains productive. He paints eight hours a day---but with a difference from his earlier days. No longer does he paint to live; he lives to paint. He calls his work "meditations of the soul," and it is an earnest striving to help people achieve a deeper insight into life's meaning. Toward this end Orth draws upon his lifetime of work, his own experiences of hardship, suffering, joy and love. These psychoanalytical paintings are intended to speak to everyone and to provoke thought in the beholder, stirring an emotional response. The goal is to jog the memory or prick the conscience recalling an experience, a mood, or an observation on the stream of life. Orth's "soul paintings" cover a wide range of themes, evincing his restless probing of the heartbeat of mankind, for he observes: "There are more things between heaven and earth than this world dreams of."
The purpose of Orth's work, as stated by him, is to translate to canvas his boundless interest and love for humanity. For example, the frightened child peeking from behind a tattered drape, while a wolf pack races toward the background, suggests the innocence of a new generation entering a disillusioned world torn by strife, misery and want. Another canvas depicting figures striving to reach the heights above a tottering column suggests man's persevering ambitions to achieve a better world in the face of staggering adversities. In another, the African woman turned majestically toward the light of a new dawn suggests the higher dignity to which this tormented race aspires.
In these and other soul paintings Orth injects his deepest feelings and fullest insight with the hope that the viewer will respond with his or her own emotions.
Signed - - - Robert J. Kirkpatrick, written in 1968
Museums for John William Orth, Submitted July 2006 by Steven Sanchez:
Albrecht Durer Museum
Anderson Memorial Library
Brooklyn Art Museum
New York, NY
Munich Glas Palast Museum
Rhineland's Barmen Museum
Texas Hall of Remembrance