November 10, 2012 § Leave a comment
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.