Portrait of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-1894) @ Sotheby’s

February 21, 2015 § 3 Comments

513a 54 Putbus - Copy

Portrait of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-1894) @ Sotheby’s

Two important portraits have been consigned to Sotheby’s from a private collection.

The first one depicts Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-1894 née Gräfin und Herrin von und zu Putbus) [1854, Paris; oil on canvas, 82 x 63 cm; cat no 513a]. She was the eldest of five daughters and second of six children of Wilhelm-Malthus Reichsgraf zu Putbus (1783-1854) by his wife, Luise von Lauterbach (1784-1860). In 1828, at the age of 19, she married Hermann Frederick, Graf von Wylich und Lottum (1796-1847), who was thirteen years her senior. He was a chamberlain at the Prussian court and the minister at Naples for a number of years. The couple had three children, two sons and a daughter, the youngest of whom, Wilhelm-Mathus, inherited his maternal grandfather’s estates and titles as a sovereign prince of Putbus, an extensive appanage within the Pomeranian region of present-day Germany.

The countess is depicted at half-length, against a neutral olive-green background, in half-turn to the left, and facing the viewer. The hair is parted in the middle and arranged on both sides in neck-length curls. She is wearing a black dress with plunging neckline edged with two deep valances of white lace, black silk ruches, and further detailing on the bust and sleeves. A brown fur stole is thrown around her arms.

The black dress of the countess reflects her status as widow (her husband died in 1847), but also as a sign of mourning for her father, Wilhelm Malthus, 1st Fürst v.u.z. Putbus who died in September 1854. The portrait, therefore, was quite likely to have been commissioned to commemorate her succession to her father’s sovereign titles, and would have been painted in the late autumn or early winter of 1854, which also explains the reason why the countess poses wrapped in furs.

The portrait has become the official representation of the sovereign countess, having been lithographed by Gustav Heinrich Gottlob Feckert (1820-1899), and copied at least once.

The portrait will be offered at Sotheby’s London, Of Royal and Noble Descent, 24 Feb 2015, lot 173 (est. £20,000-30,000). See http://www.sothebys.com/

I would like to thank Sotheby’s for acknowledging my assistance with cataloguing this work.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015.

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§ 3 Responses to Portrait of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum (1809-1894) @ Sotheby’s

  • Maurice Dolphin says:

    Another beautiful painting, with Franz and his brother among the Masters. If possible, can you enlighten me their working method? I am a retired artist commuted to London, and did they employ linseed oil their working medium, and copy from photographs adding colour as I do? I would like to know their methods with my life now painting portraits and learning from them, plus other Masters, as best I can.

    • artsdiary365 says:

      Thank you for your lovely comment. Regrettably, I do not possess such detailed technical information. I do wonder if such institutions as the Metropolitan Museum in New York or the Getty Museum in Los Angeles have carried out any examination or conservation of Winterhalter’s paintings in their collections – in which case they might be able to furnish you with an insight into Winterhalter’s working processes.

  • […] by Franz Xaver Winterhalter were sold at Sotheby’s London on 24 February 2015. Lot 173, Portrait of Clothilde Gräfin von Wylich und Lottum, sold for £ 32,500 / € 44,255 / AUD 64,652. The portrait of her daughter-in-law, Wanda […]

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