4 June 2014
View of the Maiden Tower in Baku, signed and dated 1880.
Oil on canvas, 74.5 by 111 cm.
Provenance: Private collection, Austria.
Private collection, Germany.
Authenticity of the work has been confirmed by the expert V. Petrov.
This atmospheric late work by the German-born artist Paul von Franken depicts Baku’s mysterious Maiden Tower which has long been the subject of romantic legend. The exact date and reason for its construction are to this day unknown, but it is at least as old as the 12th century. As the story goes, the tower was built at the request of the Shirvanshah’s daughter who then threw herself from the top to escape marrying the man of her father’s choice.
Over the years the building has variously been used as a Zoroastrian temple, a defence tower and a mausoleum. By the late 19th century, when Franken painted View of the Maiden Tower in Baku, the city was an important Russian naval port in the grip of an oil boom and growing rapidly, due to the huge increase in navigation and trade, the Maiden Tower was converted into a lighthouse to guide in the ships and oil tankers.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.