Auction Results: Winterhalter Portraits @ Sotheby’s

February 25, 2015 § 1 Comment

513a 54 Putbus - Copy   658 58 Putbus Copy II

To follow up my two earlier posts, both portraits by Franz Xaver Winterhalter were sold at Sotheby’s London on 24 February 2015. Lot 173, Portrait of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottumsold for £ 32,500 / € 44,255 / AUD 64,652. The portrait of her daughter-in-law, Wanda Fürstin von und zu Putbus (Lot 174), sold for £ 31,250 / € 42,553 / AUD 62,165.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015

Porträt eines jungen Herren @ Ketterer

February 23, 2015 § Leave a comment

Winterhalter 195 Jungen Herren

Porträt eines jungen Herren @ Ketterer

This spirited and lively sketch of a young man with a somewhat surprised and bemused expression on his face, by HERMANN WINTERHALTER, was offered at Ketterer Kunst’s Old Masters & Art of the 19th Century auction, in Munich, 21 Nov 2014, lot 196. Estimated at € 1,000, the drawing was sold for € 1,250 (and went to a very good collection in Germany).

The identity of the sitter remains unknown. The auctioneers dated the drawing from ca. 1870, which means the gentleman in the portrait was most likely a resident of Karlsruhe or Frankfurt-am-Main.

Every time I discover a new work by Hermann Winterhalter, every time I realise more and more what a talented and gifted artist he was in his own right. The drawing has been entered under the provisional no. 195 in Hermann Winterhalter’s catalogue.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015.

Portrait of Wanda Fürstin von und zu Putbus (1837-1867) @ Sotheby’s

February 22, 2015 § 3 Comments

658 58 Putbus Copy II

Portrait of Wanda Fürstin von und zu Putbus (1837-1867) @ Sotheby’s

The second portrait consigned to Sotheby’s represents daughter-in-law of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum, whose portrait was discussed in the previous post.

It represents Wanda-Marie von Veltheim-Bartensleben, Fürstin v.u.z. Putbus (1837-67) [1858, Paris; oil on canvas, 100 x 81.5 cm, cat. no. 658], who was the eldest of two daughters, and the eldest of the three children, of Georg Albrecht Karl Freiherr von Veltheim-Bartensleben (1812-74) and his first wife, Asta-Luise Gräfin zu Putbus (1812-1850). In July 1857, shortly before her twentieth birthday, she married Wilhelm-Malthus, Graf von Wylich und Lottum (1833-1907), her first cousin, second son of her maternal aunt and future mother-in-law, Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-94). The couple had five daughters, the three eldest of whom would inherit their father’s sovereign titles in succession. She was a regular fixture at social entertainments in Berlin, an expert huntress, and a hostess par excellence, entertaining a number of notable guests, including Otto von Bismark, at the family’s castle on the island of Rügen. The Princess died of puerperal fever sixteen days after giving birth to her youngest daughter, Wanda-Augusta, on 18 December 1867, aged 30 years and six months. Her sudden death was deeply lamented by her close friend, Queen Victoria eldest daughter, Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia (later Empress of Germany).

The Princess is shown standing, at three-quarter-length, in half-turn to the left, and facing the viewer. Her hair is parted in the middle, brushed back and arranged in chignon and neck-length curls. She is wearing a black silk or satin travelling dress with white lace collar and a large black and red bow at the front; with black ruches, lace and other details on the sleeves and bodice. A large wrap is thrown around arms; light-brown leather gloves are worn. Her jewellery comprises of gold and jet earrings and a small (watch?) chain at her waist. The princess is shown against a bright red background, presumably the artist’s studio curtain.

The portrait was most likely commissioned to commemorate the sitter’s wedding in 1857 to Wilhelm-Malthus, Fürst v.u.z. Putbus (1833-1907). As Winterhalter was at the height of his career at the time, with the waiting list of up to two years, it is quite possible that the young bride may have waited for more than six months to have her portrait painted. The choice of a travelling / day dress is unusual in Winterhalter’s oeuvre. The large black wrap suggests that the portrait may have been painted either in winter or early spring of 1858 when the Princess was six to seven months pregnant.  The strict and voluminous garments may have been chosen for the portrait to partially disguise her pregnancy.

Incidentally, the Princess was also painted by Richard Lauchert (oil on canvas, signed and dated as painted in 1863, Jagdschloss Granitz). Richard Lauchert was a pupil of F.X. Winterhalter, and also a cousin by marriage to Victoria, Crown Princess of Prussia, who commissioned a number of portraits from Lauchert and also recommended him to her mother, Queen Victoria. Wanda was a personal friend of the Crown Princess, and it is quite likely that the latter may have recommended Lauchert for the later portrait commission.

The portrait will be offered at Sotheby’s London, Of Royal and Noble Descent, 24 Feb 2015, lot 174 (est. £25,000-35,000). See http://www.sothebys.com/

I would like to thank Sotheby’s for acknowledging my assistance with cataloguing this work.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015.

Portrait of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-1894) @ Sotheby’s

February 21, 2015 § 3 Comments

513a 54 Putbus - Copy

Portrait of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-1894) @ Sotheby’s

Two important portraits have been consigned to Sotheby’s from a private collection.

The first one depicts Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-1894 née Gräfin und Herrin von und zu Putbus) [1854, Paris; oil on canvas, 82 x 63 cm; cat no 513a]. She was the eldest of five daughters and second of six children of Wilhelm-Malthus Reichsgraf zu Putbus (1783-1854) by his wife, Luise von Lauterbach (1784-1860). In 1828, at the age of 19, she married Hermann Frederick, Graf von Wylich und Lottum (1796-1847), who was thirteen years her senior. He was a chamberlain at the Prussian court and the minister at Naples for a number of years. The couple had three children, two sons and a daughter, the youngest of whom, Wilhelm-Mathus, inherited his maternal grandfather’s estates and titles as a sovereign prince of Putbus, an extensive appanage within the Pomeranian region of present-day Germany.

The countess is depicted at half-length, against a neutral olive-green background, in half-turn to the left, and facing the viewer. The hair is parted in the middle and arranged on both sides in neck-length curls. She is wearing a black dress with plunging neckline edged with two deep valances of white lace, black silk ruches, and further detailing on the bust and sleeves. A brown fur stole is thrown around her arms.

The black dress of the countess reflects her status as widow (her husband died in 1847), but also as a sign of mourning for her father, Wilhelm Malthus, 1st Fürst v.u.z. Putbus who died in September 1854. The portrait, therefore, was quite likely to have been commissioned to commemorate her succession to her father’s sovereign titles, and would have been painted in the late autumn or early winter of 1854, which also explains the reason why the countess poses wrapped in furs.

The portrait has become the official representation of the sovereign countess, having been lithographed by Gustav Heinrich Gottlob Feckert (1820-1899), and copied at least once.

The portrait will be offered at Sotheby’s London, Of Royal and Noble Descent, 24 Feb 2015, lot 173 (est. £20,000-30,000). See http://www.sothebys.com/

I would like to thank Sotheby’s for acknowledging my assistance with cataloguing this work.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015.

New Catalogue Entry – Hermann Winterhalter

February 20, 2015 § 2 Comments

Hermann Winterhalter

I am thrilled to add a new catalogue entry – Jeune Femme des Monts Sabins, by Hermann Winterhalter (oil on canvas, 98 x 76 cm).

Thrilled – because so little is known about Hermann Winterhalter, that every new work, which emerges from a private collection, is akin to a major revelation, and becomes an important addition to our collective knowledge about this supremely gifted and technically adroit painter.

The painting is signed [H] Winterhalter lower left and the handwriting clearly matches Hermann Winterhalter’s signatures in his other authenticated works. It appears to have been painted around the late 1830s to early 1840s, when Hermann joined his brother in Paris and began producing a number of Italian studies influenced by, and reminiscent of, Franz Xaver’s works. A number of these paintings were exhibited at the Salon, where they attracted a positive critical response.

The painting is included in the forthcoming auction, Mobilier, objets d’art, peinture, argenterie, Maître Guillaumont, 1725 route de Riottier, Villefranche-sur-Saône, and will be offered for sale on 28 February 2015, lot 12, estimates €4,000-6,000. [Please see http://www.interencheres.com/ or http://www.auction.fr/ for further information about this sale].

I would like to thank Maître Guillaumont for acknowledging my assistance in the cataloguing of this work.

The painting has been entered into Hermann Winterhalter’s Catalogue Raisonné under the provisional no. 101k.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015.

A Sitter Suggested – Lady in Waiting to Augusta Prinzessin von Sachsen-Altenburg

February 20, 2015 § Leave a comment

744h 62ho Hofdame 1

A Sitter Suggested – Lady in Waiting to Augusta Prinzessin von Sachsen-Altenburg (no. 744h).

The Courtauld Institute of Art has a lovely spirited sketch, enticingly titled Hofdame of the Princess of Altenburg. According to the catalogue records, the drawing appears to be unsigned, but a semi-legible inscription on the reverse reads: Hofdame der Prinzessin … / Moritz … Altenburg.

It is quite easy to establish the identity of Prinzessin … / Moritz … Altenburg. This is most definitely Augusta Prinzessin von Sachsen-Meiningen (1843-1919), who incidentally is believed to have been painted by Winterhalter, together with her parents and brother, around 1849 (present location unknown); and who in 1862 married Moritz Prinz von Sachsen-Altenburg (1829-1907).

The date of the princess’s wedding establishes the approximate date for the sketch, which  would have been drawn some time in or after 1862.

A research of the Sachsen-Alteburg Hofkalendar suggests that the woman in the portrait is most likely to be the Princess’s chief lady-in-waiting, or Oberhofmeisterin, by the name of Fräulein Julie von Stenglin, genn. von Benninghausen. Further research establishes the dates of Julie v. Stenglin as 1812-1892. This would suggest that she would have been in her early 50s when the sketch was drawn. This (arguably) coincides with the age of the lady in the Courtauld drawing.

The Hofkalendar also states that Fräulein Julie v. Stenglin was an ‘Ehrendame des Köngl. Bayerischen Theresien-Ordens’, which is perhaps the insignia clearly visible on the woman’s left breast.

744h 1862 Hofdame detail

The drawing has been provisionally entered in the Catalogue Raisonné under no. 744h.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015

A Slight Case of Bartering

August 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

Rubens LadyA Slight Case of Bartering

Wilhelm von Bode’s memoirs offer another proof to the existence of the portraits of Barthold Suermondt and Nancy Haniel Suermondt (as mentioned in the previous post). Von Bode mentions that instead of receiving a full payment for their portraits, Winterhalter agreed to accept “zwei treffliche Frauenbildnisse von Rubens und Bordone” instead [Bode 1997, 305-6].

This off-the-cuff remark reveals that Winterhalter was not averse to bartering for his services, and also demonstrates how highly Winterhalter’s portraits were valued at the time, as the swap for two Old Master paintings by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and Paris Bordone seemed like a fair deal to such a seasoned art collector as Barthold Suermondt.

Von Bode goes on to say that Friedrich, Crown Prince of Prussia, saw the two Old Master portraits in Winterhalter’s studio in Baden (presumably in Karlsruhe), and immediately decided that these should be added to the collection of artworks he was gathering for his museum in Berlin (today the Bode Museum). This may have taken place around 1867 when the Crown Prince and his wife, Crown Princess Victoria, commissioned a pair of portraits from Winterhalter and presumably visited his studio in the process.

The artist promised that the Crown Prince could have the two Old Master portraits after his death. However, when Winterhalter died in 1873, it was discovered that the two paintings were bequeathed to his brother, Hermann Winterhalter. They were still in Hermann’s collection at the time of his death in 1891.

Under the terms of Franz Xaver and Hermann Winterhalter’s will, the Rubens and Bordone paintings were offered to Victoria, Dowager Empress of Germany, at 50.000 marks. To the best of my knowledge, the Rubens portrait is today in the collection of the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin; while the Bordone portrait remained by descent in the Empress’s family, and is today at the Schloß Fasanerie, Fulda.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2014

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