Portrait of Luise Gräfin von Langenstein und Gondelsheim (1826-1900), 1834 (cat. no. 98a) [Part 3]

January 15, 2014 § Leave a comment

Luise Langenstein 1834 Winterhalter

Portrait of Luise Gräfin von Langenstein und Gondelsheim (1826-1900), 1834 (cat. no. 98a) [Part 3]

[Continued from Part 2]

The identity of the sitter in the portrait is as remarkable as the drawing itself. Luise was a daughter of Fräulein Katharina Werner (1799-1850), a rising teenage star of the Grand Ducal Court Theatre in Karlsruhe, who at the age of sixteen, attracted the eye of Ludwig I, Grand Duke of Baden (1763-1830). Despite the 53 year difference between the two, Katharina became the Grand Duke’s mistress. Three children were born to the Grand Duke and Fräulein Werner. Although it has not been established whether any kind of a marriage ceremony took place, Ludwig I officially recognised their children. Wishing to secure their future, he established a family trust, and acquired a number of income-yielding farming and rental landholdings and properties across southern Germany. In 1827 he ennobled Katharina and her children, raising them to the comital status, and deriving their new surname from imposing castles on two of their properties, Langenstein and Gondelsheim.

The couple’s eldest daughter, also called Luise, died in 1821 before the age of three. Their only son, Ludwig Graf von Langenstein und Gondelsheim (1820-72), never married, and upon his death Luise became the sole heiress of the family fortunes. In 1848 she married Karl Graf Douglas (1824-98), a scion of the prominent Scottish-Swedish dynasty. Six children were born to the couple, who during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries occupied prominent positions in European political, military, diplomatic, and social circles. Apart from the present members of the Douglas family, Luise’s descendants today include the heads of the Bavarian, Fouche d’Otrante, Hesse, Marlborough, Sayn-Wittgenstein-Berlerburg, Solms-Hohensolms-Lich, and Solms-Laubach dynasties.

To be continued… [see Part 4]

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

 

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You are currently reading Portrait of Luise Gräfin von Langenstein und Gondelsheim (1826-1900), 1834 (cat. no. 98a) [Part 3] at The Winterhalter Catalogue.

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