Young Woman with a Purse
  • Franz Skarbina
  • Berlin 1849 - 1910
  • Young Woman with a Purse, 1885
  • Pencil on wove paper, partly smeared
  • monogramed and dated lower right: F. Sk. 85
    old insciption on the verso: Käthe!
    and estate stamp (Lugt 2289)
  • 343 × 252 mm
Estate of the artist
Margrit Bröhan: Franz Skarbina, Berlin 1995,
exhibition cat. Bröhan-museum, p. 122 (ill.)

Alongside his own creative work, Franz Skarbina was active as a teacher from the very beginning of his independent career, for, in spite of conflicting demands on his time, he always felt an obligation toward this work. In 1882, he was promoted from assistant to teacher of anatomical drawing at the Berlin academy. At the same time, he taught the study of proportions at the art school of the Königliches Kunstgewerbemuseum (Royal Museum of Applied Art), which had opened in 1881 and now the Martin-Gropius-Bau. On top of this, Skarbina offered private instruction to women in his studio, as they were still excluded from academic study at this time. He later took over the training of the draughtswomen at his friend Franz von Lipperheide’s successful magazine Modewelt (“World of Fashion”), in order to ground rapid fashion drawing in a solid knowledge of the human body.

The last condition is filled by this study in Skarbina’s own hand, made in the summer of 1885 in Berlin, before he set off for a year in Paris. It combines a very personal portrait of the self-confident model Käthe with the masterfully depicted sweep of the dress and its complicated checked pattern.