New Catalogue Entry – Hermann Winterhalter

Hermann Winterhalter

I am thrilled to add a new catalogue entry – Jeune Femme des Monts Sabins, by Hermann Winterhalter (oil on canvas, 98 x 76 cm).

Thrilled – because so little is known about Hermann Winterhalter, that every new work, which emerges from a private collection, is akin to a major revelation, and becomes an important addition to our collective knowledge about this supremely gifted and technically adroit painter.

The painting is signed [H] Winterhalter lower left and the handwriting clearly matches Hermann Winterhalter’s signatures in his other authenticated works. It appears to have been painted around the late 1830s to early 1840s, when Hermann joined his brother in Paris and began producing a number of Italian studies influenced by, and reminiscent of, Franz Xaver’s works. A number of these paintings were exhibited at the Salon, where they attracted a positive critical response.

The painting is included in the forthcoming auction, Mobilier, objets d’art, peinture, argenterie, Maître Guillaumont, 1725 route de Riottier, Villefranche-sur-Saône, and will be offered for sale on 28 February 2015, lot 12, estimates €4,000-6,000. [Please see or for further information about this sale].

I would like to thank Maître Guillaumont for acknowledging my assistance in the cataloguing of this work.

The painting has been entered into Hermann Winterhalter’s Catalogue Raisonné under the provisional no. 101k.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015.

Scene at the Source @ Russian Seasons, St Petersburg

Scene at the Source

Scene at the Source @ Russian Seasons, St Petersburg

Last but not least in my market updates is the charming Scene at the Source (1848, pencil and charcoal on paper, 54.0 x 70.0 cm), at the Russian Seasons auction house (lot 94).

The drawing is a copy after Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s Les Italiennes à la Fontaine (c. 1836, oil on canvas). The original painting was presumably exhibited at the Salon in 1837, and later at the Berlin Academy of Art in 1838. Although its current location remains unknown, it was a very popular work, which was widely copied and reproduced in engravings and lithographs.

The drawing is tantalisingly inscribed “Chaklatsky, Bavrichev, […]rsky, Chipilev et Couzmine l’annee 1848”. Further research is required to ascertain whether these are the names of the five artists who had collaborated in the production of this copy, or whether these are the names of the five gentlemen who had recreated Winterhalter’s painting as a tableau vivant at a social gathering, a popular pastime of the era.

At the time of writing, the work remains unsold.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Das Früchtenmädchen @ Schuler Auktionen, Zurich,

744a Winterhalter_recto

Franz Xaver Winterhalter

744a. Das Früchtenmädchen, c. 1860-65

Oil on canvas, 46.3 x 38.0 cm


Private Collection

Last but not least, I should mention the most charming and beautiful study, Das Früchtenmädchen, which just recently came onto the art market at Schuler Auktionen, Zurich, Kunst und Antiquitätenauktion, 18-21 March 2013, lot 4341.

The painting depicts a young girl in profile, with light auburn hair brushed off the face, gathered on the nape, and secured with a tortoiseshell comb. She is wearing a simple garment of white linen, with a light turquoise-blue scarf around her neck. She is holding in her hands a platter with peaches, grapes, cherries, figs, and other fruit. The simplicity of the girl’s dress and demeanour contrasts significantly from Winterhalter’s portraits of women from the upper echelons of society, and suggests the artist is immortalising on his canvas a servant girl, or at the very least, a model posing as a servant girl bringing a platter of fruit to her master’s table.

This is not an isolated example of F.X. Winterhalter turning from straight portraiture to genre painting. The work strongly relates to the Study of a Girl in Profile (1862, oil on canvas, 58.0 x 47.0 cm, signed and dated lower right, Fr Winterhalter / 1862, private collection); and Die Briefleserin, or Portrait of a Lady Reading a Letter (early to mid-1860s, oil on canvas, 91.0 x 70.0 cm, signed, Augustinermuseum, Freiburg-im-Breisgau).

The painting, which was estimated at CHF 12,000/18,000, was sold at CHF 17,000 / € 14,000 approx., a fine result for a beautiful and rare genre painting by F.X. Winterhalter.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013

Jeune Fille Assise @ Hôtel des Ventes, Geneva, 13 March 2013 (cat. no H 111a)

111a 40 Jeune Fille Assise

Hermann Winterhalter

111a. Jeune Fille Assise, early to mid-1840s

Oil on canvas, 50.0 x 38.0 cm

Signed lower right: H. Winterhalter

Private Collection

A charming painting by Hermann Winterhalter recently appeared at the Hôtel des Ventes, in Geneva, on 13 March 2013 (lot 945).

It shows a young girl, depicted full-length, seated on the grass, against the background of a dark folliage. Her head is tilted to the right, her eyes gazing to the left beyond the picture plane. Her hands are resting on her limbs, the right hand cupping the left. She is wearing a dress of Mediterranean inspiration, though it is difficult to attribute it with certainly to a particular national or regional costume. Her black hair is parted in the middle, gathered at the back, and decorated with pink and white tasselled ribbons. A white embroidered shawl covers her shoulders. It is tucked into an olive-grey coloured bustier, decorated at the shoulders with large pink ribbons edged with tassels, which match the ribbons in her hair.

The girl is wearing a light golden-yellow skirt with a white apron. Red slippers edged with yellow are visible on the right hand side beneath the hemline of her skirt. She is holding in her lap what appears to be a stick with raw wool attached to the top of it and fastened with an ornamental ribbon, the design of which echoes details of costumes of Mediterranean maidens in comparable works by Hermann Winterhalter, as well as those of his brother, Franz.

Though the work is not dated, the style, brushwork, pigment application, and the overall gamut of the painting  suggests the early to mid 1840s as a possible date for this work.

The catalogue does not provide any provenance information. Originally estimated at CHF 700-900, the painting was sold for CHF 3,000 (€ 2,500 approx.).

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013

Flora, or Jeune Fille aux Fleurs, @ Koller West, 5 Dec 2012 (cat. no. H 121c)

Dear Friends,

I recently went for a lovely trip around art galleries and museums in Southern Germany and France to view works by Franz and Hermann Winterhalter in their collections. But before I share some of my reminiscences about these magnificent encounters, I’d like to catch up on some of the works by the Winterhalter brothers that had recently appeared, or are about to appear, on the art market.

121c 50 Flora Jeune Fille

First and foremost, a charming genre study, Flora, or Jeune Fille aux Fleurs, had appeared at Koller West, on 5 December 2012, lot 6428.

The openly eroticised picture captures a young girl, bust length, blond hair parted in the middle and gathered at the back, decorated with small wreaths of white flowers on either side. A white loose blouse around her shoulders is modestly upheld with the right hand, in which she also holds a similar wreath of flowers. She is depicted thrusting forward, towards the viewer, while reaching with her left hand for more flowers from a tree or a bush growing at the back to the right, beyond the picture plane, out of the sight of the viewer. There is a suggestion of an abstracted landscape of shrubbery and clouds in the background.

The painting is not signed. The auction catalogue does not provide any provenance, or grounds for their attribution of this work to the hand of Franz Xaver Winterhalter. Granted, the girl in the picture looks not dissimilar to some of the models used by Hermann Winterhalter, and purely on stylistic grounds, a tenuous attribution can be made to the hand of Hermann, rather than Franz.

However, more research is definitely required to make any further, or indeed any firmer, attributions to the hand of either of the Winterhalter brothers.

The painting, which was estimated at € 250-420, was sold for € 2,600.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2013.