Gabriel von Max


 Per Aspera!

oil on canvas, 1898


Gabriel von Max (1840 Prague - 1915 Munich)

Per aspera! (also known as "Zu den Sternen empor") 


oil on canvas

22 5/8 x 16 3/4 in. (57.5 x 42.5 cm)

signed lower right "Gab. Max"

inscribed lower left "Per aspera!"


1898          Galerie Heinemann, Munich

1898 -- ?    Ferdinand Levin (1849-1901), Göttingen, a textile manufacturer who in 1899 commissioned as his residence the famous Levin Villa in Göttingen (later known as the Fridtjof-Nansen-Haus, now housing the Goethe-Institut Göttingen) 

Exhibition History:

2011     "Gabriel von Max: Be-tailed Cousins and Phantasms of the Soul," Frye Art Museum, Seattle, July 9-Oct. 30, 2011

Publication History:

Franz Hermann Meißner, "Gabriel Max," in Die Kunst unserer Zeit. Eine Chronik des modernen Kunstlebens (Munich 1899), Lieferung 2, pgs. 1-32, ill. pg. 25.

La Ilustración Artística 18.903 (17 April 1899), 257, with the title "Una estrella" ["A star"], reproductive engraving.

Die Gartenlaube, 1899, Nr. 3, Kunstbeilage 2 [Art Supplement 2], between pgs. 44 and 45 (reproductive engraving, titled "Zu den Sternen Empor!" ["Up to the Stars!"]), discussion at pg. 52.

Dr. (Oswald) Knauer, Die Vision im Lichte der Kulturgeschichte und der Dämon des Sokrates. Eine kulturgeschichtlich-psychiatrische Studie [The Vision in the Light of Cultural History and the Demon of Socrates. A Cultural-Historical-Psychiatric Study] (Leipzig: Verlag von Wilhelm Friedrich, 1899), at pg. 15 (referenced without illustration as "Zu den Sternen empor"). 

Lou Charnon-Deutsch, Fictions of the Feminine in the Nineteenth-Century Spanish Press (University Park, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania State University Press, 2000), pg. 34, fig. 15, with the title "Una estrella" ["A star"], reproductive engraving.

Jo-Anne Birnie Danzker, ed., Gabriel von Max (Seattle: Frye Art Museum, 2011), ill. 42, pg. 57.


The painting perhaps depicts the Greek goddess Urania, the muse of astronomy/astrology, who keeps her eyes and attention focused on the heavens and can foretell the future by the arrangement of the stars.
Gabriel von Max, 
"Zu den Sternen Empor!" ["Up to the Stars!"), 
xylogravure (reproductive engraving), 
Die Gartenlaube, 1899, Nr. 3, Kunstbeilage 2, between pgs. 44 and 45
The Daulton Collection


Jack Daulton

The Jack Daulton Collection

Los Altos Hills, California