Portrait of Edward Prinz von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1823-1902) (copy) @ Gorringes [Part 1]

January 23, 2014 § Leave a comment

Edward von Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach 1849 Winterhalter Copy

Portrait of Edward Prinz von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1823-1902) (copy) @ Gorringes [Part 1]

As per the first post about Portrait of Mary, Duchess of Gloucester (1776-1857), Gorringes also featured in their slightly earlier auction, in December 2005, a painting, which was described in the catalogue as “Victorian School, Portrait of a Gentleman” (illustrated above).

The painting is, in fact, a replica or a copy of Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Portrait of Edward Prinz von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1823-1902), the original of which, signed and dated 1849, is in the Collection of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, possibly at Buckingham Palace.

Once again, a comment has to be made about the high quality of the portrait at Gorringes’, at least judging from the photograph on their website. While it is also quite possibly, just like in the case of the Portrait of Mary, Duchess of Gloucester (1776-1857), an excellent copy by William Corden, a closer examination, as well as a thorough provenance research, might suggest this work is a replica by the artist.

The same portrait – or at the very least a very similar copy or a version – appeared less than a year later at another British auction house, Lawrences (October 2006, lot 1555). This time, however, the portrait was fully catalogued, correctly identifying both the artist and the sitter.

According to the catalogue entry, the portrait was inscribed with details on reverse; and it was also accompanied with a lithograph of the painting by R.J. Lane, which once again would have made identification much easier.

It only goes to show that it is certainly impossible to know every painting by every artist, and that, at times, auction house specialists are at the mercy of the vendors.

To be continued … [see part 2].

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2014

[PS]: Neither of the auction houses provided any provenance details, so it is indeed rather difficult to know whether we are talking about the same work or two different portraits, which just happen to pop up on the British art market within a year of each other.

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You are currently reading Portrait of Edward Prinz von Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach (1823-1902) (copy) @ Gorringes [Part 1] at The Winterhalter Catalogue.

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