Portrait of Wilhelm Urban (1795-1833), 1829 [Part I]

June 1, 2013 § Leave a comment

028b 29 Urban print

Portrait of Wilhelm Urban (1795-1833), 1829 [Part I]

A short stroll from the Neue Pinakothek along Katharina-von-Bora-Straße took me to the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, which contained two little treasures by Winterhalter.

The first one was the Portrait of Wilhelm Urban (1795-1833) (1829, ink, pencil and wash, 31.7 x 21.6 cm, Inv. No. 1909:5). It depicts the thirty four year old actor at bust length, in three-quarter turn to the right, and facing the viewer. He wears an overcoat with large velvet-edged collars; a white shirt and cravat visible from underneath; a plaid-style scarf is wrapped around his shoulders.

This work is a rare and precious example of Winterhalter’s early portraiture during his Munich period. The date of the portrait, 1829, provides irrefutable proof that although from 1828 he became the drawing teacher to Sophie Wilhelmine, Markgräfin (and future Großherzogin) von Baden, and her children, he did not move to Karlsruhe, as is frequently suggested, but stayed in Munich at least until 1830, commuting between the two cities.

It is also an important indication that by the late 1820s Winterhalter had a burgeoning and robust portrait practice, and that, from lithographing works by other artists, Winterhalter gradually progressed to producing his own original portraits, which were either lithographed by him and / or other artists, as is the case with this portrait.

I promised not to reproduce the original drawing in the collection of the Staatliche Graphische Sammlung, therefore I am reproducing a lithograph of the drawing, presumably by Winterhalter’s own hand, published by Joseph Selb, courtesy of http://www.portraitindex.de/.

http://www.sgsm.eu/

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

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