Oil on Canvas 34″ x 44″
Despite his Swiss origins – he was born in Zurich in1896, Wagner belonged to the German school of painters, and also travelled through Europe, studying at the Academie de la Brera de Milan.
Fritz Wagner was painter of still-life, landscapes and genre scenes, especially historical and costume pieces. The work Jovial Companions is very indicative of his historical or cavalier painting. Typically Wagner favoured interior scenes, in grand houses, with solid carved oak dressers, fine pottery, delft tiled walls, heavy stained glass windows and a model galleon hanging from the ceiling – it is interesting to see the bed in the same room, with a curtain ready to be drawn at night. Friz Wagner’s observation and attention to detail makes a particularly effective backdrop to the focal part of the work – the jovial gentlemen enjoying, a glass or two of ale, a plate of oysters, a shared passage from a book and a contented smoke. Wagner displays great skill in the interaction between the different characters – you can imagine the spirited conversation and light-hearted banter between the five jovial companions.