‘Portrait of Clémentine de Boubers, Baronne Renouard de Bussierre’ (1854) by Hermann Winterhalter @ Sotheby’s Paris

017b Boubers Bussiere

Portrait of Clémentine de Boubers, Baronne Renouard de Bussierre (1854), by Hermann Winterhalter, @ Sotheby’s Paris

The aformentioned auction featured a portrait of Mélanie de Pourtalès’s sister-in-law, Clémentine de Boubers, Baronne Paul Renouard de Bussierre (1829-1861), by the hand of Hermann Winterhalter.

The baroness is painted at the age of 25, at just over half-length, posed frontally, with her face in semi-profile to the right. She is wearing an evening gown of white satin over a lace-edged under-blouse, with white silk bows at the sleeves and the waist. Apart from the corsage of pink roses and a golden wedding band at the base of the ring finger, the baroness wears no other jewellery or visible decorations.

The provenance of the portrait is unclear. The portraits of the sitter, her husband, and her sister are framed identically, suggesting that they were at one stage in the same collection. As Clémentine and her husband had no children, it is likely that their portraits may have passed to her sister-in-law, Mélanie de Pourtalès, and thence, by family descent, to Christian, Comte de Pourtalès, at Château de Martinsvart, from whose collection it was offered at Collection Schickler-Pourtalès: Art et Pouvoir au XIXe siècle, by Sotheby’s Paris, on 16 May 2019.

Clémentine’s white dress may suggest that the portrait references her marriage two years’ prior. The three states of the roses—wilting, blooming, and budding—are quite unusual in the context of a formal portrait, and may indicate Hermann Winterhalter’s own allegoric and moralising touch. The lack of jewellery broadly corresponds with the prevalent depictions of French aristocracy in the middle of the nineteenth century, and especially during—or shortly after—the Second Republic. It also may indicate the sitter’s personal piety and the lack of ostentatious tastes, reflective of her Protestant faith.

Offered with the estimate of € 30,000-40,000, the portrait appears to have found no buyers. Although Hermann Winterhalter may have been as talented as his celebrated older brother, his art market performance remains relatively modest.

© Dr Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 16 July 2019

Winterhalter’s ‘Portrait of Countess Olga Esperovna Shuvalova’ @ Christie’s in Paris

60sh-b 60 Shuvalova 2019_PAR_17586_0050_003(franz_xaver_winterhalter_la_comtesse_olga_esperovna_chouvalov_nee_prin)

I was thrilled to see the above portrait to come up for sale at Christie’s in Paris, in their Tableaux anciens et du XIXème siècle sale on 25 June 2019.

The portrait represents Countess Olga Shuvalova (1838-69, née Princess Beloselskaia-Belozerskaia) at the age of thirty two. She is painted in an oval format, knee-length, seated, against a neutral background of golden-honey yellows. While she is painted en face, her light-brown eyes look upwards; her gaze transcends the picture plane. Her light-brown hair is dressed with a wreath of ivy leaves with garlands of green and purple acacia-style flowers. She is wearing a low-cut evening gown of white tulle, edged with lace, and decorated with an ivy-leaf corsage. A tasseled cream-coloured shawl, thrown over her right shoulder and the right arm, completes the Countess’s toilette. She rests an elbow on her knee, with fingers lightly supporting her chin. Unusually for a portrait of a Russian noblewoman in Winterhalter’s oeuvre, the Countess appears to be wearing no jewellery.

The portrait clearly forms a pendant to the portrait of the sitter’s husband, Count Pavel Shuvalov (1860, oil on canvas, Private Collection, cat. no. 687; illustrated in the previous post). Both portraits are carried out in a similar oval format, are roughly of the similar size, and are framed identically. As such, this is perhaps one of the very few known pendant portraits by Winterhalter of non-royal sitters.

The auction catalogue did not provide clear provenance for the portrait. While further research is still required, it is highly possible that both portraits were at one stage in the Demidov Collection until its dispersal by Christie’s in 1934.

Estimated at EUR 80,000-120,000, the portrait sold for EUR 150,000, demonstrating that the prices for Winterhalter’s portraits on the auction market have remained relatively steady.

The portrait is given a provisional number 688 in the current version of my catalogue raisonné.

© Dr Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 30 June 2019

Updates to the Online Catalogue Raisonne of the Winterhalter Brothers’ Works

60sh-a Count_Paul_Andreievich_Shouvaloff

Dear Friends,

As those of you who had time and patience to download my doctoral thesis on Winterhalter – ‘Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873): Portraiture in the Age of Social Change’ – https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/127963 – had noticed, it comes with a huge addendum of all works by Winterhalter known to me.

I am looking to publish my thesis (any recommendations and leads are welcome) – but, in the meanwhile, I will continue updating my online catalogue raisonne of the Winterhalter Brothers’ works.

Your assistance with the present version has been INVALUABLE and I cannot thank enough all those individuals and institutions who continue communicating with me and providing me, most generously and selflessly, with invaluable updates and… corrections!

In the coming weeks and months, I would share with you some of the more important updates as well as information on some of the works that have recently appeared on the art market.

I look forward to hearing from each and everyone of you – let’s keep the conversation about Winterhalter going!

#winterhalter #franzxaverwinterhalter #thesis #publication #dissertation #artcatalogues #artbooks #artmarket #artauctions #artsales

The Doctoral Thesis on Winterhalter is Done – Now, it’s back to the Online Catalogue Raisonné


Dear Friends,

Apologies for my prolonged silence—all my energies have been focused on the completion of my doctoral dissertation on Franz Xaver Winterhalter, titled, accordingly, ‘Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873): Portraiture in the Age of Social Change’.

As the title suggests, my thesis focused on Winterhalter’s portraits and examined how it reflected social change which was taking place in the course of ‘the long Nineteenth Century’.

I am thrilled that Richard Ormond, the author and co-curator of the ground-breaking Winterhalter exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and Petit Palais all way back in 1987-1988, was one of my examiners, and provided me with a most encouraging and supportive feedback.

While I was completing the thesis, I was also asked to contribute to another retrospective exhibition of Winterhalter’s works, which toured the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (TX); Augustinermuseum, Freiburg-im-Breisgau; and Musée National du Château, Compiègne between 2015 and 2017, and I am eternally grateful to Dr Helga Kessler Aurisch for involving me in the project and inviting me to contribute an essay to the exhibition catalogue.

My thesis is now available online – https://minerva-access.unimelb.edu.au/handle/11343/127963

It is a LONG read – but if you have a chance and patience, would love to receive your feedback and continue the conversation about meaning and significance of Winterhalter’s beautiful works!

#winterhalter #franzxaverwinterhalter #thesis #dissertation #richardormond #helgaaurisch #npg #london #petitpalais #houston #freiburg #compiegne

Portrait of the Prince de Wagram and his Daughter Malcy, 1837 (cat. no. 131)

Winterhalter 131 1837 Prince de Wagram

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)

Portrait of Napoléon-Alexandre Berthier, 2e Prince et Duc de Wagram (1810-1887), with his daughter,

Mlle Malcy Berthier de Wagram, Princesse Murat (1832-1884)

1837, oil on canvas, 186.0 x 138.0 cm, Private Collection

Winterhalter’s portrait of  Napoléon-Alexandre Berthier, 2e Prince et Duc de Wagram, with his daughter, Mlle Malcy Berthier de Wagram, Princesse Murat was exhibited at the 1987/88 Winterhalter exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Petit Palais in Paris. Carol Blackett-Ord wrote in the exhibition catalogue regarding this portrait (p. 179):

“The Prince de Wagram is seated with his daughter, Malcy-Louise-Caroline-Frédérique on a Louis-XIII-style double seat. He wears a black double-breasted frock coat and black trousers with an instep under his shoe. His black silk cravat is held with a pearl pin. The girl wears a white silk and muslin frock, the bodice trimmed with lace, with crimson velvet bows at the sleeves and in her hair. With one leg tucked under her, she lays a trusting hand on her father’s sleeve. A greyhound looks up from the left, a symbol of fidelity and an allusion to family devotion.

“The painting marked a turning point in Winterhalter’s career in France. Hitherto, he had been celebrated for his genre work. At the 1838 Salon, Winterhalter showed three paintings, two of which were portraits… Henceforth, Winterhalter’s professional competence as a portrait artist was recognised. He could treat a life-size subject, and handle realism or affecting charm with equal success…

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.

Portrait of Graf von Langenstein und Gondelsheim, 1834 (cat. no. 97)

Winterhalter 097 1834 Graf von Langenstein

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)

Portrait of Ludwig Graf von Langenstein und Gondelsheim (1820-1870)

1834, oil on canvas, 96.3 x 79.5 cm, Private Collection

Winterhalter’s portrait of Ludwig Graf von Langenstein und Gondelsheim was exhibited at the 1987/88 Winterhalter exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Petit Palais in Paris. Carol Blackett-Ord wrote in the exhibition catalogue regarding this portrait (p. 177):

” The boy leans cross-legged against a rock and turns a full gaze upon the spectator. He wears a black waistcoat under a short, waisted black jacket with a high shawl collar, dark brown trousers and carries a riding crop in his right hand. The landscape is sketched in autumnal colours against a sky of massing grey clouds. Winterhalter has captured the youthful vitality of his subject with great aplomb. The boy’s tousled hair, ruddy cheeks and parted lips combine to create an image of exceptional freshness and charm…”

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.

Portrait of Sophie Wilhelmine Großherzogin von Baden, c.1832 (cat. no. 69)

Winterhalter 069 1832 Sophie Wilhelmine of Baden

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)

Portrait of Sophie Wilhelmine Großherzogin von Baden, née Princess of Sweden (1801-1865)

c. 1832, oil on canvas, 39.5 x 29 cm, The Cleveland Museum of Art, The Thomas L. Fawick Memorial Collection

Winterhalter’s portrait of Sophie Wilhelmine, Großherzogin von Baden, was exhibited at the 1987/88 Winterhalter exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Petit Palais in Paris. Carol Blackett-Ord wrote in the exhibition catalogue regarding this portrait (p. 176):

“In this small whole-length portrait, Grand Duchess Sophie of Baden stands in a white dress in a landscape. She is in the fashionable attire of the early 1830s, with broad puffed sleeves, ankle-length skirt and laced pumps. A brown paisley shawl accentuates her hour-glass silhouette, while her hairstyle culminates in an elaborate plaited ‘Apollo’ knot. She leans against a mossy boulder on which a portfolio of drawings has been laid, and flowers spill out of an upturned bonnet at her feet. Formally, the portrait encapsulates the perfect polish of Biedermeier taste, and yet the scene is also deeply Romantic: the beauty of the young woman is rendered poignant and vulnerable against the threatening dark of the forest.”

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.

Portrait of Leopold I, Großherzog von Baden, 1831 (cat.no. 54)

Winterhalter 054 1831 Leopold I of Baden

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)

Portrait of Leopold I, Großherzog von Baden (1790-1852)

1831, oil on canvas, 232 x 150 cm, Private Collection

Winterhalter’s portrait of Leopold I, Großherzog von Baden, was exhibited at the 1987/88 Winterhalter exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Petit Palais in Paris. Susan Foster wrote in the exhibition catalogue regarding this portrait (p. 175):

“Leopold, Grand Duke of Baden, is portrayed at full-length against a landscape background. He wears a dark-blue coat with silver epaulettes, white knee breeches and black boots, with the yellow sash of the Order of the House of Baden over his shoulder, and on his left breast the cross of the Zahring Lion, the star of the Order of the House of Baden, and the star of the Karl Friedrich Order of Merit. In his left hand, he carried a plumed hat.

“One of at least two portraits of Leopold known to have been painted by Winterhalter, this is the more formal and least successful representation… He stands somewhat stiffly, a slight disproportion between the elongated legs and arms and short square torso and head detracting from the intended grandeur of the placing the upper part of the body against the sky…. This portrait may have had a pendant of the Grand Duchess Sophie, recorded only in the 1873 exhibition at Baden. ”

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.

Architect Karl Josef Berckmüller, 1830 (cat. no. 43)

Winterhalter 043 1830 Berckmuller

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)

Portrait of Karl Josef Berckmüller (1800-79)

 1830, Munich, oil on canvas; 96 x 72.3 cms;  Musée de Picardie, Amiens

Winterhalter’s portrait of Karl Josef Berckmüller (1800-79) was exhibited at the 1987/88 Winterhalter exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London and Petit Palais in Paris. Carol Blackett-Ord wrote in the exhibition catalogue regarding this portrait (p. 174):

“The architect is poised, as if explaining a point on the plan before him, with his head turned to the right. The attributes of his profession, a ground plan and a set of callipers, are in front of him, but attention is focused upon a fine study of his hands. The diagonals of the crossed hands are echoed in the sitter’s splayed open collar. An atypical form of signature, with Roman letters and numerals, appear as though carved into the architectural background. There are good grounds for identifying the sitter in the portrait as Winterhalter’s close friend, Karl Josef Berckmüller. He had qualified as an architect the previous year, and had further established himself by marrying the daughter of Baron von Eichthal, Winterhalter’s great benefactor. The picture appears to be the Portrait of a Man, shown at the Public Art Exhibition at Karlsruhe in May 1832 (no. 82). It received qualified praise in Kunstblatt, 11 October 1832 : “The artist has reproduced here, as it were alla prima, the firm features of a handsome male face with great boldness and assurance. The likeness is so vivid that one believes one is seeing the original. With this portrait as in all Mr Winterhalter’s portraits, one must acknowledge his great talent for portraiture; but we cannot fail to comment adversely on the fact that this hasty manner of painting is unworthy of the great talent we have praised.” ”

Philip Mansel added the following biographical note on the sitter (ibid.): “Karl Josef Berckmüller (1800-79) was the son of a prominent builder of Karlsruhe, the capital of the Grand Duchy of Baden. He was, himself, to become a government architect. One of his most important works was the building to house the Grand Ducal Collections on the Friedrichsplatz in Karlsruhe.”

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.

Do you have any comments, suggestions, or additions to the online Franz Xaver and Hermann Winterhalter Catalogue and these blog entries? Have you heard more news about the works by these artists at auctions and exhibitions? Then do not delay and get in touch!

Catalogue Updates – Works by Franz Xaver Winterhalter 1831-1835

Monday, 25 June 2012

099c 34 Winterhalter Stammann

Catalogue Updates – Works by Franz Xaver Winterhalter 1831-1835

Following updates had been made on the above-mentioned webpage:

No 83 – Roman Genre Scene – the painting was lithographed by Léon Noël;

No 93 – the title updated to Freiherr von Herring; present location unknown; the work was previously in the Murray Adams-Acton Collection, c. 1930s;

No 99c – Friedrich Stammann – the sitter’s dates were identified as 1807-1880;

No 103 – Mlle Planat de la Faye – this portrait was presumably exhibited at Salon 1835, no 2166;

No 104 – Children of Baron von Schweitzer – the painting was recently sold at Pierre Bergé & Associés, Paris, 26 Nov 2008, € 32,000; the identity of the children remains unknown;

No 105 – the painting is mentioned in Wild 1894 as Le Comte Tascher de Lapagerie, 1835 [sic]; the sitter is difficult to identify, as there were a number of counts de Tascher de La Pagerie living at that time in Paris: two of the most likely sitters are Jean, Comte de Tascher de La Pagerie (1779-1858) or Louis, Comte de Tascher de La Pagerie (1787-1861);

No 106 – Portrait of a Seated Lady – the drawing was recently sold by Christie’s South Kensington, Old Master Pictures & Drawings, 12.12.2003, lot 568, £ 1,410.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012