Portrait of Katharina Sigl-Vespermann (1802-1877), 1825 @ Kiefer Pforzheim [Part 1]

January 18, 2014 § Leave a comment

Katharina Sigl_Vespermann 1825 Winterhalter

Portrait of Katharina Sigl-Vespermann (1802-1877), 1825 @ Kiefer Pforzheim [Part 1]

The auction house Kiefer features in their forthcoming Buch- und Kunstauktionen on 15 February 2014, in Pforzheim, Germany, a lithographic Portrait of Katharina Sigl-Vespermann (1802-1877) by Franz Xaver Winterhalter (40 x 29.2 cm, lot 5581, est. €0 – €60).

The lithograph shows the sitter frontally, at half-length, head in semi-profile to the left, her gaze piercing the limits of the picture plane. She wears a fashionable gown most likely of silk, gathered high at the waist, with large diaphanous sleeves, and decorated with silk bows at shoulders. Her hair is parted on one side, styled in fashionably elaborate curls, and adorned with roses.

Katharina Sigl-Verspermann was a renowned Bavarian operatic performer. She came from a family of Bavarian singers and musicians, and made her debut on the Berlin stage at the age of 10. In 1820 she received a permanent engagement with the Munich Court Theatre, where she gave memorable performances as Queen of the Night, Susanne, Elvira, Myrrha, Marzelline (Fidelio), and numerous other roles. She continued touring, appearing on the stages of Vienna, Nurnberg, and Stuttgart. In 1828 she married the baritone Wilhelm Vespermann (1784-1837), widower of another respected opera singer, Clara Metzger (1799-1827). An illness forced Katharina to retire from the stage in 1833, but she continued to participate in selected concerts and performances. She died at the age of 75 in Munich, in 1877.

The importance of this lithograph lies in the fact that it is one of the earliest known lithographic portraits by artist. The portrait bears facsimile signature and date lower right: Winterhalter ft – 1825, suggesting that the artist may also have been responsible for the original portrait drawing on which the lithograph is based (present whereabouts unknown). As the print bears no other names, it is highly possible that the artist was responsible for both the drawing and the production of a lithograph after it.

To be continued … [see part 2].

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

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You are currently reading Portrait of Katharina Sigl-Vespermann (1802-1877), 1825 @ Kiefer Pforzheim [Part 1] at The Winterhalter Catalogue.

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