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Painting by Moritz Stifter, "Through the Keyhole"

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Painting by Moritz Stifter, "Through the Keyhole"

- Item No.

This enchanting image of Victorian eroticism is the work of Moritz Stifter

Key Features

  • This intriguing Victorian erotic painting is by Moritz Stifter
  • This striking keyhole painting gives a glimpse of a nearly-nude young woman combing her hair
  • Oil on board; signed "M Stifter" (lower left)
  • Visible board: 17 1/8" high x 7 1/2" wide; Frame: 31 1/2" high x 21 1/4" wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    B: 7 1/2; F: 21 1/4 Inches
  • Height:
    B: 17 1/8; F: 31 1/2 Inches
  • Period:
    Victorian
  • Origin:
    Other Europe
  • Subject:
    Figurative
  • Artist:
    Other
Moritz Stifter 1857-1905 Austrian-Danish Through the Keyhole
Oil on board

Signed "M Stifter" (lower left)

A young lady combs her hair before a full-length mirror in this captivating painting by Orientalist artist Moritz Stifter. Known as a keyhole painting, this fascinating oil on canvas, entitled Through the Keyhole, offers a glimpse of this barely-dressed beauty as if peeking through a keyhole, making an unintentional voyeur of the viewer.

Keyhole paintings developed in the repressive atmosphere of Victorian society. Thanks in part to the dominance of Evangelical Christianity and partly to Queen Victoria herself, whose prudishness and mourning for her late husband, Prince Albert, remained unmitigated for decades, the Victorian relationship with the nude body was at best intensely problematic. Though classical nudes had been seen as an essential form of art for centuries, Victorian society saw only shameful nakedness in the unclothed human body, and sought to divorce the form from any notion of sexuality. Thus, this era of strict and correct social behavior produced many different forms of highly-coded erotica, of which notorious "keyhole paintings" are but one. 

Known for his paintings of young women in exotic locales and unconventional situations, Moritz Stifter took the sensual aspects of Orientalism and applied them to everyday life, finding intrigue and innuendo in even the most innocent of scenes. Born in 1857, he remains a highly collected artist.

Visible board: 17 1/8" high x 7 1/2" wide
  Frame: 31 1/2" high x 21 1/4" wide  

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