In our latest Product Focus, we explore two beautiful silk pocket squares that are relatively new to our collection, The Grim Garden and Achilles, two artworks by Austrian painter and illustrator Alexander Rothaug.
Within the post, we delve into the contrasting paintings and their history, alongside more about the painter himself. We also look at our favourite folds for these squares.
SHOP THE COLLECTION: ALEXANDER ROTHAUG SILK POCKET SQUARES
Achilles was painted circa 1930 and is an oil-on-canvas piece. The artwork features a lightened sky background in blue and cream tones. Pair this pocket square with any navy, blue or grey tailored jacket for a complementary yet classic look.
In Greek mythology, Achilles was the strongest warrior and hero in the Greek army during the Trojan War. He was the son of Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, and Thetis, a sea nymph. The story of Achilles appears in Homer's Iliad and elsewhere.
Rothaug painted other versions of Achilles, including his death, where an arrow killed Achilles fired by the Trojan prince Paris. In most versions of the story, the god Apollo is said to have guided the arrow into his heel, one of his only vulnerabilities.
Explore: Achilles Pocket Square
THE GRIM GARDEN
The Grim Garden was painted circa 1930 and is an oil-on-canvas work. The artwork is dark in tone and features the use of rich black, gold and orange tones. This pocket square works particularly well with any navy jacket as the colours provide a strong contrast and really pop off the fabric.
Also from Greek mythology, one of Rothaug’s specialities, the painting is mysterious in concept and portrays a prominent statuesque figure seated whilst guarding a temple or castle. The figure is shown as a giant in nature and stance, with a fierce pose and facial expression.
Explore: The Grim Garden Silk Pocket Square
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Alexander Rothaug (1870-1946) was active as a painter, stage designer and illustrator in Munich and his native Vienna in the later years of the 19th and into the first half of the 20th century. Trained at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts by the Orientalist painter Leopold Carl Müller, Rothaug would create his own distinctive style.
Rothaug began to serve an apprenticeship as a sculptor in 1884, which he gave up only a year later to study painting at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. After his studies, Rothaug moved to Munich for several years, working for the satirical magazine Fliegende Blätter (Flying Leafs).
In 1897 he returned to Vienna as a freelance painter and began regularly exhibiting his works and created several monumental ceiling and wall paintings based on his experiences as a stage painter. Today his works are primarily found in private collections.
Rothaug’s work blends the Classicism he had been taught at the Academy with elements of Jugendstil (a type of Art Nouveau architecture) and also the arresting, atmospheric symbolism of Franz von Stuck, under whose sway the artist fell during his time in Munich.
OUR FAVOURITE FOLDS
Both pocket squares featured provide a stunning finish to an outfit due to their distinct colours and prominent borders, creating a strong look for most folds. In addition, the highlighted pops of colour of either blue in Achilles or orange in The Grim Garden can totally transform the look of a jacket.
How you fold a pocket square determines whether it adds a subtle accent, or is a flamboyant addition of colour, which becomes the focal point of your outfit.
We have created a step-by-step videos on our website to demonstrate how to achieve different folds and looks. Below are three of our favourite folds for these squares.
Read Further: How to Fold Your Pocket Square Guide
1. Puff Fold
The Puff Fold is not only one of the most popular folds but also one of the simplest to master. The classic style is to adjust it till it forms a semi-circle above your pocket, but the very nature of the Puff Fold means you can be creative with the final look.
We feel it works best for a more casual look, and can be easily adjusted to display the different colours in your pocket square.
2. Two Point Peak Fold
The Two Point Fold also known as the Two Peaks Fold, is at the relatively conservative end of the spectrum works well for more formal events or in the corporate world.
If you use this fold with a single coloured pocket square it will add a little more interest to your jacket, however for something a bit more interesting, a pocket square with multicolours such at the square squares featured will have a nice contrast with different tones between the two peaks.
3. Three Point Peak Fold
The Three Point Fold is another classic fold that is a little dressier than either the one or two point folds. This fold is all about the details, so ensure the points look aligned and uniform in order to create a sharp, clean shape.
The versatility of this fold suits most pocket square designs, but the more details around the edges the more it will pop off the jacket. It's our preference to choose a square colour that contrasts strongly with the jacket to get clear definition on the points.
If you prefer visuals over written text, then you are in luck as our YouTube channel has a dedicated Pocket Square Fold Series covering all the classic folds you can use on this pocket square and any others within our collection.