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Bust - The Artist's Wife, Nita Maria Schonfeld Resch
  • The Artist's Wife, Nita Maria Schonfeld Resch
    Dressler, Conrad
  • Enlarge image

The Artist's Wife, Nita Maria Schonfeld Resch

  • Object:


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1898 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dressler, Conrad (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    painted terracotta

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    Sculpture, Room 21a, The Dorothy and Michael Hintze Galleries, case FS, shelf WS

This bust is made by Conrad Dressler (1856-1940) and represents the portrait of his wife Nita Maria Schonfeld Resch (1864-1928).
To enhance the naturalism of the terracotta, Dressler added some colour.
Dressler was on German parentage but was born in Streatham, South London. He trained as a sculptor under Professor Lantéri at the Royal College of Art, and later under J E Boehm in Paris. Although he is remembered as a sculptor, Dressler had a wide range of interests. He was an early member of the Art Workers' Guild, and produced works in a variety of materials and techniques. He also held strong Ruskinian beliefs, and published a paper in 1896 entitled 'The Curse of Machinery'.
A photograph (A.3:2-1995) of about 1900 showing the bust in the sculptor's studio was acquired at the same time as the present piece.

Physical description

The subject is shown with bare shoulders, her hair coiled into a bun at the nape of her neck, and the top of her chemise just visible. She tilts her head and looks slightly to her left. The bust is made of a particularly grainy terracotta which has been press-moulded, and then re-worked after having been removed from the mould. Signed and dated at the back.
The surface has been given alight off-white wash, while the hair, the irises of the eyes, and the lips have painted a pale red. The bust is fixed on a black wood socle.

Place of Origin

London (made)


1898 (made)


Dressler, Conrad (maker)

Materials and Techniques

painted terracotta

Marks and inscriptions

'Conrad Dressler / Dec 1898'
at back


Height: 64 cm incl. socle, Height: 45 cm excl. socle, Width: 40 cm, Depth: 27 cm, Width: 25.4 cm socle, Depth: 18 cm socle

Object history note

Bought for £3,500 with the Sculpture Collection Purchase Grant, in 1995.

Descriptive line

Bust, painted terracotta on painted wood socle, Nita Maria Schonfeld Resch, by Conrad Gustav D'Huc Dressler, British, 1898

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Williamson, Paul, “Acquisition of Sculpture at the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1992-1999”, in: Burlington Magazine, Dec. 1999, CXLI, p. 788, fig. XVI
Bilbey, Diane and Trusted, Marjorie. British Sculpture 1470-2000. A Concise Catalogue of the Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum. London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 2002, p. 253, cat. no. 384
Sturgis, Alexander. Presence. The Art of Portrait Sculpture, exhibition catalogue for exhibition held at the Holburne Museum, published by the Art Collector’s Club Ltd, Old Martlesham Woodbridge, Suffolk, UK, 2012, cat.no. 31, p. 50, illus. p. 51



Subjects depicted



Sculpture; Portraits


Sculpture Collection

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