Girl Standing in a Veranda Wearing a Pochampalli Sari
Oil on canvas
62 x 113 cms
Circa last quarter 19th century
Signed 'H. Linde' lower left
Hermann Linde was born in Lubeck, Germany in 1863 and died in 1926 in Arlesheim, Switzerland. He studied at the Munich Art Academy where he came under the sway of Wilhelm Leibl (1844-1900) a German realist painter who was a close follower of Gustav Courbet. Leibl's renditions of landscapes and still lifes followed the alla prima style that was based on a commitment to capturing reality devoid of any sentiment and exactly as seen by the eye, which no doubt exercised a deep influence on Linde.
The present portrait of a Young Girl in a Veranda may well have been painted on his travels to Egypt, India and the Far East. It is very probable that as a foreign traveler in India, Linde gained admittance to the court of His Serene Highness the Nizam of Hyderabad, at that time the world's richest man, as well as to the interiors of other notable homes, one of which he has portrayed in this painting.
His subject, the little girl, stands barefoot on a marble floor at the corner of a veranda. The artist has brilliantly used the white plastered wall as a foil for her dusky complexion and bright attire. She is clad in a Pochampalli sari. Pochampalli, a small town not far from Hyderabad in South India, is famous for its pure silk saris which bear distinctive geometric weft-patterned designs in bold contrasting colors. The wall which is slightly distressed and wonderfully painted emphasizes the vivid palette of the textile and reflects a soft light that captures the innocence of the child's face. It is left to the viewer to make what they will of the empty spaces of the veranda and the garden beyond. As with all marvelous paintings there is an air of mystery about this work.
Another painting by the artist of India, titled Procession of Indians, is presently in the Museum at Bremen; see E. Benezit, Dictionnaire Critique et Documentaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Volume 6 Nouvelle Edition, Gründ, 1976.