Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part IV]

May 31, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part IV]

I am dedicating this concluding section of the series of articles on F.X. Winterhalter’s Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) by sharing with you my other passion – genealogical research on Winterhalter’s sitters:

  • Franz Oliver (3rd) Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (Heidelberg 9.06.1787-Florence 20.05.1867)

The sitter’s quarterings (limited to the first three generations) are as follows:

  1. Franz Oliver (3rd) Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867)
  2. Francis (Franz) (2nd) Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (Walworth 8.02.1764-Heidelburg 28.04.1824), m.1st
  3. Charlotte Freiin von Cornet (1766-11.09.1864)
  4. Francis Jenison, of Low Walworth, co Durham, cr. 1st Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (17.09.1790) (Edinburgh 20.01.1732-Heidelberg 30.06.1799), m.Edinburgh 16.09.1758
  5. Miss Charlotte Smith (London 7.06.1744-Heidelberg 12.02.1803)
  6. N*** von Cornet, m.
  7. ????
  8. John Jenison, of Low Walworth, co. Durham
  9. Elisabeth Sandford (dau of Francis Sandford, of Twemlow, co Salop)
  10. N*** Smith, m.
  11. ????
  12. N*** von Cornet, m.
  13. ????
  14. ????
  15. ????

The count married in 1824 (div.) Amalia Gräfin Batthyány (1805-1866; daughter of József Sándor Graf Batthyány de Német-Ujvar (1777-1812), who m. Barbara (Borbála) Skerlecz de Lomnicza (1782-1834)). The couple divorced, and Amalia Gräfin von Jenison zu Walworth married 1831 Karl Theodor Graf von Westerholt und Gysenberg (16.09.1795-5.12.1863).

The couple had no children.

http://www.pinakothek.de/neue-pinakothek

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part III]

May 30, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part III]

The biographical research on the sitter tells us that Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (Heidelberg 9.06.1787 –  Florence 20.05.1867), a scion of a British aristocratic family and son of Franz v. J.-W., Chamberlain at the Court of Darmstadt, was born 9.06.1787 in Heidelberg, where his grandfather settled after emigrating from England in 1775. He began his diplomatic career at the age of 23 as a secretary with the Bavarian Legation in Berlin. In 1811 he was dispatched to St Petersburg, to Paris in 1813, and London in 1814. In 1816 he was appointed to Naples, where he remained until 1821. In 1824 he was appointed Bavarian ambassador to the Netherlands, but in 1826 he decided to temporarily retire from diplomatic service, to which he returned in 1833 serving as ambassador to London until 1835. Same year he was sent to the court of King Otto of Greece in Athens, but later that year reappointed as ambassador to Paris. In 1839 he was appointed to the embassy in St Petersburg, and in 1842 to Vienna. He finally retired from the diplomatic service in 1847, and spent last years of his life in Italy, dying in Florence on 20 May 1867.

As per my previous entry, von Jenison zu Walworth’s dates as Bavarian Ambassador to Paris correspond with the date the portrait was painted (1837), although it remains uncertain whether the portrait was commissioned by the ambassador from Winterhalter or painted on the artist’s own volition for a possible showing at the Salon.

The portrait most likely remained in von Jenison zu Walworth’s collection, and upon his death donated to the Bayerische Staatsgemäldesammlungen (Inv. WAF 1196). Today it is at the Neue Pinakothek, where it is can be seen in the context of works by other notable German artists who were active in Bavaria in the first half of the nineteenth century.

http://www.pinakothek.de/neue-pinakothek

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part II]

May 29, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part II]

At the time of writing, no correspondence emerged to shed light on the production of this portrait or the choice of the garments worn by the count. The signature in the lower right hand corner of the painting tells us that the portrait was painted – or at the very least completed – by the artist in Paris in 1837.

It is most likely that the portrait was exhibited at the Salon of 1837, and given the Salon’s submission deadlines, it can be surmised that the portrait was completed in winter of 1837. This may explain the reason why the count is wearing such warm and cosy garments.

However, it is also known that Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth was a career diplomat, who served as Bavaria’s Ambassador in Paris from 1835 to 1839. Therefore, another reason for the choice of the count’s outfit might stem from traditional portrayal of ambassadors. The most famous representation is undoubtedly The Ambassadors, by Hans Holbein the Younger (1553, oil on panel, National Gallery, London), which shows the Ambassador on the left hand side of the painting not only in similar robes richly decorated with furs, but standing in a pose, which is echoed in Winterhalter’s portrait of the count von Jenison zu Walworth, albeit in reverse.

http://www.pinakothek.de/neue-pinakothek

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part I]

May 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

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Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1787-1867) [Part I]

I spent a few weeks visiting museums which have works by Franz Xaver Winterhalter and / or Hermann Winterhalter.

My first port of call was the Neue Pinakothek in Munich, which has a very special painting by Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Portrait of Franz Oliver Graf von Jenison zu Walworth (1837, oil on canvas, 131.0 x 98.0 cm).

The three-quarter-length portrait shows the count standing, and leaning on a pedestal with his right elbow. A most extravagant fur coat is thrown over his shoulders, cascading down the whole length of the portrait. Underneath it, he is shown wearing a dark jacket with velvet detailing. An elaborate black silk cravat is tied around starched shirt collars, which, together with the crisp white cuff, break through the overall darkness of the count’s outfit.

The portrait is remarkable for its subdued palette limited only to the variations of three main pigments – white, black, and red. The artist’s ability to manipulate the black pigment in order to produce innumerable distinct shades, as well as relate textures of different black fabrics and materials – be it fur, velvet, linen, or silk – is truly astounding.

http://www.pinakothek.de/neue-pinakothek

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Scene at the Source @ Russian Seasons, St Petersburg

May 27, 2013 § Leave a comment

Scene at the Source

Scene at the Source @ Russian Seasons, St Petersburg

Last but not least in my market updates is the charming Scene at the Source (1848, pencil and charcoal on paper, 54.0 x 70.0 cm), at the Russian Seasons auction house (lot 94).

The drawing is a copy after Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Les Italiennes à la Fontaine (c. 1836, oil on canvas). The original painting was presumably exhibited at the Salon in 1837, and later at the Berlin Academy of Art in 1838. Although its current location remains unknown, it was a very popular work, which was widely copied and reproduced in engravings and lithographs.

The drawing is tantalisingly inscribed “Chaklatsky, Bavrichev, […]rsky, Chipilev et Couzmine l’annee 1848”. Further research is required to ascertain whether these are the names of the five artists who had collaborated in the production of this copy, or whether these are the names of the five gentlemen who had recreated Winterhalter’s painting as a tableau vivant at a social gathering, a popular pastime of the era.

At the time of writing, the work remains unsold.

http://www.ruseasons.ru

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Jeune femme en toilette bleu clair @ Michel Lhomme

May 26, 2013 § Leave a comment

Jeune femme  @ Michel Lhomme

Jeune femme en toilette bleu clair @ Michel Lhomme

A similar concern can be raised about a portrait of Jeune femme en toilette bleu clair (1869, oil on canvas, 99.0 x 74.0 cm), at Michel Lhomme’s fine art auction at Liège on 25th May 2013 (lot 18).

It depicts a young lady in a light blue evening gown richly decorated with tulle and lace overlay, leaning against a gilded and intricately carved console. The portrait is quite elegant in its own way, and I do not doubt that it is from the 1860s, as the auction house experts claim. However, in my opinion, it is not consistent with the style of Franz Xaver Winterhalter, and therefore his authorship is doubtful.

It is also with a concern that the catalogue gives Winterhalter’s birth date as 1806 (instead of 1805), misspells the name of his home town as “Menzenschroand” (and not Menzenschwand), and writes that Winterhalter learnt engraving from his uncle (I cannot even say how many things are wrong with that statement).

It is rather sad that after all the research that has been done on Winterhalter worldwide, and which is available in a number of languages from innumerable online resources at a touch of a button, the auction house “experts” still allow themselves to include in their catalogues such highly erroneous information.

I trust that with further research into the provenance and history of this portrait, the name of the real author can be established.

The portrait is estimated at €8,000-10,000.

http://www.michel-lhomme.com

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Prinzessin Liechtenstein im Kostüm @ Dorotheum, Vienna

May 25, 2013 § Leave a comment

Princess of Liechtenstein @ Dorotheum

Prinzessin Liechtenstein im Kostüm @ Dorotheum, Vienna

The second work to appear at Dorotheum’s Imperial Court Memorabilia and Historical Objects on 25th April 2013, also ascribed to Franz Xaver Winterhalter, was the optimistically titled Prinzessin Liechtenstein im Kostüm (1845, watercolour on paper, lot 161).

It depicts a maiden, at half-length, in a picturesque peasant costume of a white blouse, black corset richly embroidered with flower motives, and a straw hat decorated with a garland of wild flowers, a vivid blue bow, and matching ribbons.

I cannot argue whether or not this is indeed a princess from the house of v.u.z. Liechtenstein playing dress-ups. However, the attribution to Winterhalter is rather contentious. The signature in the lower right hand corner of the watercolour is not in Winterhalter’s handwriting. The overall quality, design of the figure, brushwork, and use of pigments also, in my opinion, are not consistent with those of Franz Xaver Winterhalter.

The watercolour was sold for a comparatively modest (for F.X. Winterhalter) sum of €4,000 (against the original estimates of €1,200 to 1,800).

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

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