Teresa Feoderovna Ries
|Teresa Feoderovna Ries|
Moscow, Russian Empire
|Died||1950 (aged 75–76)|
|Known for||Sculpture, painting|
Teresa Feoderovna Ries (also known as Theresa Feoderovna Ries) (1874–1950) was a Russian-born Austrian sculptor and painter.
Life and work
Teresa Ries was born in Russia to a Jewish family. She attended the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. She was expelled for showing disrespect toward a professor in one of her classes. She moved to Vienna at the age of 21, where her first exhibition at the Vienna Künstlerhaus included Witch, a sculpture of a nude woman clipping her toenails. This piece caught the attention of Kaiser Franz Joseph I, and she soon became highly celebrated throughout Vienna. The exhibition was also attended by Gustav Klimt, an active member of the Vienna Secession movement, who asked her to exhibit with them. She sought out Edmund Hellmer as a mentor; at first he refused, saying that "it was pointless to teach women since they married anyway". Hellmer eventually relented and helped her to exhibit her work and to gain commissions.
In 1900 Ries exhibited at the Paris World's Fair and the 1911 World's Fair in Turin on the invitation of both Russia and Austria. Prince Aloys of Liechtenstein offered her the use of a suite of rooms beside his own picture gallery as a studio.
Working in stone, marble, plaster, and bronze, Ries produced both private and public works during her career. Some of her well-known nude sculptures are Sleepwaker (pre-1894), Lucifer (c. 1897), and Death (1898). She produced sculptures and busts for public spaces; her Bust of Jaromir Mundy (1897) is mounted on the outside of the Vienna Fireman's Association building. She is perhaps best known for photographing and creating a bust of Mark Twain during the time he resided in Vienna.
According to art critic Karl Kraus, "her exhibitions received too much publicity". Ries published her memoir, Die Sprache des Steines (The Language of Stone) in 1928. In 1938 she was evicted from her gallery and studio space due to the Nazi policy of Aryanization. She continued to work in Vienna until 1942 and then immigrated to Lugano, Switzerland.
Ries married, lost a child, and divorced while still a teenager in Moscow.
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