Prinzessin Liechtenstein im Kostüm @ Dorotheum, Vienna
The second work to appear at Dorotheum’s Imperial Court Memorabilia and Historical Objects on 25th April 2013, also ascribed to Franz Xaver Winterhalter, was the optimistically titled Prinzessin Liechtenstein im Kostüm (1845, watercolour on paper, lot 161).
It depicts a maiden, at half-length, in a picturesque peasant costume of a white blouse, black corset richly embroidered with flower motives, and a straw hat decorated with a garland of wild flowers, a vivid blue bow, and matching ribbons.
I cannot argue whether or not this is indeed a princess from the house of v.u.z. Liechtenstein playing dress-ups. However, the attribution to Winterhalter is rather contentious. The signature in the lower right hand corner of the watercolour is not in Winterhalter’s handwriting. The overall quality, design of the figure, brushwork, and use of pigments also, in my opinion, are not consistent with those of Franz Xaver Winterhalter.
The watercolour was sold for a comparatively modest (for F.X. Winterhalter) sum of €4,000 (against the original estimates of €1,200 to 1,800).
© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.