Friday, 10 February 2012

26 Schwanthaler Winterhalter

25 Sigl_Vespermann Winterhalter

Friday, 10 February 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Catalogue Updates

Another new image is that of no 28e – the portrait of the renowned Bavarian sculptor, Ludwig von Schwanthaler, of c. 1825-26, which was recently posted on Schwanthaler was a student at the Munich Academy around the same time as Winterhalter, and it is most likely that the portrait stems from this date, and prior to the sculptor’s departure forItaly in 1826. The dating of the portrait is also helped by a prominent watermark on the paper, which bears the date 1826.

The same website yielded another image of a work which was previously unknown to me, and it is with great pleasure that I am adding a new entry to the Catalogue Raisonne – no 28f, portrait of the celebrated opera singer, Katharina Sigl-Vespermann (1802-1877), of c. 1825. As per the explanation above, it is most likely that Winterhalter created the original portrait drawing on which this lithograph was based (it is signed in plate lower right Winterhalter fecit).

For more details, see

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Catalogue Updates – Travels in Germany

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Catalogue Updates – Travels in Germany 

It has been often claimed that upon completion of his studies at the Bavarian Academy of Arts, Winterhalter travelled widely; and there are even erroneous claims that his first tour of Italy took place in 1828. The fact remains that in 1827-1828 Winterhalter did do some travel and sightseeing, but not only he did not cross German borders, he did not even cross the borders of the Kingdom of Bavaria.

As I write in my forthcoming dissertation on the artist:

The artist completed his studies at the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in summer of 1827, and undertook a sabbatical travelling to Landshut, Regensburg, Nürenberg, Pommersfelden, and other towns. He visited museums, galleries, and historical buildings, exclaiming in a letter to his father: “Man muß etwas sehen, um es zu machen![1] It is interesting to observe that at this time Italy was preferred destination for German and European artists.[2] Winterhalter mentions numerous comings and goings of fellow painters to and from Rome, and even his father urged him to go to Italy “wie alle anderen Maler”.[3] However, Winterhalter remained immune to the allure of the south, and throughout his post-academic journeys he did not even cross Bavarian borders. It would seem that Ludwig Tieck’s (1773-1853) widely popular Franz Sternbalds Wanderungen (1798), where one of the characters advises an aspiring artist against travelling to Italy with the following words: “You will not become an Italian and you will not be able to remain a German… we are not in favour of antiquity… our subject is Nordic nature”,[4] was more influential on Winterhalter’s psyche that Goethe’s famous German longing for South. It is possible, that the inherent reluctance ofGermany’s lower social classes to move beyond one’s domains, financial restrictions, and stipend limitations also came into consideration at this point in time, thus preventing the artist from travelling to Italy and opting instead to return to Munich.

I am pleased to add further images to my catalogue – nos 32a and 32b – that illustrate this period of Winterhalter’s career. These images come courtesy of a private collector, who has an enviable collection of Winterhalter’s drawings and studies (as well as a number of outstanding works on paper by other artists).

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2012

[1] “One has to see it in order to make it”: letter from Franz Xaver inMunich to his parents in Menzenschwand, 3 August 1827; quoted in Mayer 1998, 92.

[2] See further discussion on this subject in Ulrich Finke, German Painting from Romanticism to Expressionism (London: Thames and Hudson, 1974), 31.

[3] „… like all other artists…“, quoted in Mayer 1998, 25.

[4] Quoted in Finke 1974, 18.

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Catalogue Updates

19 friedrich_leopold_graf_zu_stolberg WinterhalterWednesday, 8 February 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Catalogue Updates

Very few known engravings and lithographs from Winterhalter’s Freiburg-im-Bresgau period have survived. I emphasise the word known as a number of prints on which Winterhalter may have worked or collaborated were published without bearing his name in margin under image as was the custom of the day.

The research indicates that the majority of Winterhalter’s known prints (i.e. the ones bearing his name in margin under image) were executed during his Munich period. Unless a more exact date has been discovered, the dates for Munich period prints can be roughly amended to c. 1823-1830.

Winterhalter’s involvement in print production was varied. He was employed to create charcoal or watercolour copies of paintings as guides or aids for lithographers and / or actual drawings on lithographic stone from which prints were to be made (these are usually marked Gez[eichnet]. von Winterhalter: see nos 25 – 28; or Lith. von Winterhalter: see no 29a). Winterhalter also produced original drawings or watercolours which were later lithographed by the artist himself and / or other printmakers (these are usually marked Winterhalter fecit: for example, see nos 28c, 28f, etc).

24 Titian WinterhalterNos 23 and 24 support an argument that at some point there were in existence original drawings and watercolours by Winterhalter which were either copies after works by other artists, or his own original compositions created expressly to be engraved and / or lithographed. Unfortunately, most of these works have not been located to date, and most of them are only known from lithographs created after them (as indicated in the catalogue entries nos 28b, 28c, 28e, 28f, etc.)

The research indicates that Winterhalter’s lithographic output during the Munich period can be roughly divided into three sections: prints after the Old Masters; prints after contemporary portraits; and prints after contemporary artists. The numerical order of the catalogue list has been amended slightly to group these items accordingly.

25 Eckner WinterhalterRecent research has uncovered further lithographs by Winterhalter after the Old Masters, which form new entries on the list:

–          no 24d – a lithograph after Giovanno Francesco Caroto (1470-1546);

–          no 24e – a lithograph after Adrian Brouwer (c.1605-c.1638)

–          no 24f – a lithograph after David Teniers the Younger (1610-1690)

–          no 24h – a lithograph after after Carlo Maratta (1625-1713)

–          no 24g – a lithograph after [a painting attributed to] Sir Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641), though conflicting evidence points that the latter work could also have been done by Hermann Winterhalter.

As Munich was predominantly Winterhalter’s base between 1823 and 1830, it is identified as the most likely place where these works would have been created. Works that are known to have been produced during Winterhalter’s travels in Germany in 1827 (especially in Landshut – see nos 31a and 32b); as well as those drawn or painted in Karlsruhe are marked accordingly.

For more details, see

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Empress Eugénie of 1854 (no. 495)

54 Winterhalter Eugenie Houston TX1Sunday, 5 February 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Empress Eugénie of 1854 (no. 495)

I have recently received a charming email from a curator of the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, Texas, USA, correcting one of my entries by informing me that no 495, portrait of Empress Eugénie of 1854, is now in the Museum’s collection.

The portrait measures 125 x 95 cm, and it is signed, dated, and inscribed lower centre as painted in Paris in 1854. It is believed to have been commissioned personally by the Empress and paid from her own funds: this fact that was recognised by the French Government in 1881 when it returned the portrait to the Empress in exile together with other paintings and works of art as her private property. The portrait was placed at Eugénie’s home at Farnborough Hill and remained there at least until 1884, when it was gifted to Mme Eugène Rouher (née Marie Cornélie Léontine Conchon (1822-1890)), widow of a prominent Second Empire politician and statesman, and remained in her possession in Paris until her death in 1890. The painting then passed through a number of private collections, and was acquired by the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, with funds provided by the Agnes Cullen Arnold Endowment Fund, in 2010.

54 Winterhalter Eugenie Houston TX2In spite of its importance, the portrait was exhibited publicly only four times. It was lent by the Empress to the Exposition Universelle of 1855, and to the Vienna Kunstverein in 1856. More than 130 year would pass before the portrait reappeared again, this time at the Winterhalter exhibition in London’s National Gallery and the Petit Palais in Paris in 1987-88. In 2009 it was lent to “Napoleon and Eugenie” exhibition at the Nassau County Museum of Art by its then owner, Christopher Forbes.

The portrait remained well-known through lithographs by Léon Noël (an edition of which was also shown at the Parisian Exposition Universelle of 1855), as well as through a number of copies and miniatures in porcelain and enamel (examples of these abound in public and private collections worldwide). Most recently, of course, it has been popularised as a poster available from countless online retailers.

54 Winterhalter Eugenie Houston TX3I am sincerely overjoyed that this work of the utmost historical importance, which is also among the key paintings of Winterhalter’s oeuvre, has finally entered a public collection, where it rightfully belongs.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Catalogue Updates

23 Winterhalter - Mother of the ArtistSunday, 5 February 2012

Franz Xaver Winterhalter – Catalogue Updates

A number of early portraits in the Winterhalter catalogue were loosely dated from the late 1810s to the early 1820s. The research indicates that from 1818 to 1822 Franz Xaver Winterhalter was apprenticed in Freiburg-im-Bresgau at the studios of Schuler and Herder. Early 1823 he briefly returned to Menzenschwand, leaving for Munich shortly afterwards. Therefore, the date of a number of early portrait drawings and watercolours (see nos 2 – 7, 18 – 20) were updated to c. 1823 to coincide with the artist’s Menzenschwand sojourn of that year; and Menzenschwand was also identified as the most likely place where the early drawings and watercolours would have been painted by the young artist (see nos 1-8, 18-20).

23 Laule Winterhalter

Nos 19 and 20 were dated by Mayer from around 1830. On stylistic grounds I believe these to be earlier works from the Menzenschwand period of c. 1823.

The exception is made for nos 21 and 22: they display a more mature style, and I agree with Mayer who dates them from around c. 1830, and either Karlsruhe or Menzenschwand-Hinterdorf identified as the most likely place where they would have been drawn.

The title of no.5 was amended to Jacob Benedikt Laule (1748-1829), Step-Grandfather of the Artist. The sitter was the second husband of Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s paternal grandmother, Anna Winterhalter (née Schlageter, 1745-1818), whom he married in 1786.

It is believed that no 4 was lithographed by Josef Anton Selb (1784-1832), c. 1826.

For more details, see

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2012