Liner Lieutenant Rudolf Singule 1916

Half portrait en face, looking at the viewer with open eyes. Singule wears a black navy uniform, under it a white turtleneck shirt, on the head the black navy cap. On the chest decorations of orders and a medal in the form of a black cross of paws. He is depicted in his submarine behind the periscope, in the background gray steel wall with brass depth helm.

JQAW# P-1916_040
Oil on canvas 84 x 62 cm.
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams Pola 28 V 1916.
HGM Vienna Inv.#KBI148 Bez.#2288/2007

Lineship Lieutenant Rudolf Singule Commander U4 (8.4.1883 Pola to 2.5.1945 Bruno).
Rudolf Singule was commander of the submarine U4 and one of the few k.u.k. Navy holders of the Order of Maria Theresia (the highest military decoration of the monarchy; however, it was awarded to him only in 1929). After training at the Naval Academy in Fiume, he was transferred in 1909 as a frigate lieutenant to the newly created submarine base in Pola, and in 1911 was appointed a liner lieutenant (officer rank equivalent to captain). From 1911-1913 and again in 1915-1917, he commanded the submarine U4. Singule's greatest military success was the sinking of the Italian armored cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi off Dubrovnik on the morning of July 18, 1915 (59 killed, 19 wounded, 540 rescued). During World War 2, he served in the German navy. He was mistakenly shot as a civilian by a Russian soldier in Brno in 1945.

Although Rudolf Singule is less well known as a submarine commander than his colleagues Georg von Trapp (Sound of Music) or Egon Lerch (idolized by Archduchess Elisabeth "Erzsi"), Adams has created a significant monument to him with this charismatic portrait. The open look and the energetic, but also "cool" character of the portrayed are excellently depicted and the technical environment of a submarine represents a new dimension of the military portrait (typically in the open field and/or with horses). Associations with Romako's masterpiece "Admiral Tegthoff in the Battle of Lissa" with its serene habitus in the chaos of the sea battle, are suggested. The portrait of the commander of the U4 Singule was painted in Pola. The pendant "in the submarine", which depicts the interior of submarine U6, was probably also painted there (see cross-references). A portrait of liner captain Miklós Horthy (the later admiral and from 1920-1944 imperial governor of Hungary), also created by Adams, disappeared from the HGM Vienna during the turmoil of war and has since been lost.


1917 Künstlerhaus Vienna (EL 61 1916/17 #516).

1934 Künstlerhaus Vienna (EL 87 1934/35 #2044).

1986 Akademie Schillerplatz, Wiener Gesellschaft im Portrait, catalog no. 38 (no ill.).


Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #38 (no ill.).

APH, Werksverzeichnis JQA 1995, 1995, p. 153, cat.#121, fig. 85.


Artist to War Press Corps Vienna, from there to k.u.k. Army Museum.
Army History Museum HGM Vienna Inv.#KBI148 Ref.#2288/2007