Karl Stauffer-Bern

Portrait of Sister Sophie


oil on canvas


Karl Stauffer-Bern (Trubschachen 1857-1891 Florence)

Portrait of the Artist's Sister Sophie in Black

[Bildnis der Schwester Sophie in Schwarz],

also known as The Black Sophie [Die schwarze Sophie]


oil on canvas, framed

46 x 38,5 cm (oval)

monogramed and dated by the artist center right: "St.B. / 85"

Condition: on an old stretcher with the old nailing; edge of the painting not completed; minimal craquelure; paint rubbed by the frame.


Estate of the artist 

1938-1955 on long-term loan to the Kunstmuseum Bern, Gemälde Inv. Nr. 280 (label verso)

thereafter, through inheritance to a private collection in Steffisburg, Switzerland

Exhibition History:

1891-92, Königliche National-Galerie, Berlin, "Werke von Karl Stauffer-Bern," cat. no. 24 (no measurements)

1925, Kunstmuseum Bern, "Karl Stauffer-Bern," cat. no. 237 (there with other measurements and titled "Bildnis Sophie Stauffer im Leid, gennant 'Die schwarze Sophie'")

2007 (August 17-December 2), Kunstmuseum Bern, "'Verfluchter Kerl!'  Karl Stauffer-Bern: Maler, Radierer, Plastiker," cat. no. 122.

Publication History:

Matthias Frehner and Brigitta Vogler-Zimmerli, eds., "Verfluchter Kerl!"  Karl Stauffer-Bern: Maler, Radierer, Plastiker (Zurich: Verlag Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 2007), cat. no. 122, ill. at pg. 162.

Friedrich von Boetticher, Malerwerke des Neunzehnten Jahrhunderts, vol. II/II, Hofheim 1979, pg. 802, no. 24


"The sitter is the artist's eldest sister Sophie Stauffer, born in 1858. He portrayed her in 1885 with a black veil after her father had died after a long depression on 13 July 1885 in the Waldau Clinic. The painting, which was not yet completed at the edge, was probably trimmed to oval format and fitted into a ready-made frame only after Stauffer's death (from: Bern exhibition catalogue 2007, pg. 158)." GK

 framed view:


Jack Daulton

The Daulton Collection

Los Altos Hills, California