Martha Brünner 1923

3/4 Portrait in sitting position. The portrayed is sitting in a club chair, body turned to her right, looking at the viewer from the corners of her eyes. She wears a wide cut gray-blue velvet dress. Over her left hand, which rests on the armrest, and over her shoulder a white silk coverlet. She wears a single row pearl necklace, on the right hand a bracelet, on the left ring finger a ring. Background represented by sketchy interior with a gray wall, on it a partially visible a picture.

JQAW# P_1923_050
Oil on canvas, dimensions unknown
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams
Augusta Museum, Georgia, USA

Martha Beatrix Brünner, née Burian, 7.7.1889, Gloggnitz, until ?? (dates unknown). Martha Burian, daughter of a lawyer, married (date unknown) the industrialist son (production of petroleum lamps) Alexander Ferdinand Karl Brünner (1883-1974). Her sister Agathe Karoline B.(1887-1916) married (date unknown) in turn Richard Hanno Ferdinand Brünner (1888-1962), a double marriage of the siblings of two families, as was not uncommon in Vienna at the turn of the century.

Adams had already painted a portrait of the young Martha Brünner in 1905 ("Happy Days," see cross-references), so the sitter's acquaintance with the artist was long-lasting. Probably the shared interest in sports (Martha Brünner was a passionate horsewoman and golfer, Adams among other things a professional fencer, mountaineer, sailor, skier and also played golf) led to this long-lasting acquaintance.

Stylistically, the portrait is rather conventional, only the saucy look of the sitter captivates the viewer. The picture was dedicated in 1969 by the Austrian Consul General in Atlanta Robert Bunzl to the Augusta Museum (Georgia, USA) as a gift, probably to emphasize the connection of Austria with the USA, as it is also found in the biography of John Quincy Adams.



Robert Bunzl, Atlanta, USA. 1969 dedication to Augusta Museum, Georgia, USA.