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

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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

Porträt eines jungen Herren @ Ketterer

Winterhalter 195 Jungen Herren

Porträt eines jungen Herren @ Ketterer

This spirited and lively sketch of a young man with a somewhat surprised and bemused expression on his face, by HERMANN WINTERHALTER, was offered at Ketterer Kunst’s Old Masters & Art of the 19th Century auction, in Munich, 21 Nov 2014, lot 196. Estimated at € 1,000, the drawing was sold for € 1,250 (and went to a very good collection in Germany).

The identity of the sitter remains unknown. The auctioneers dated the drawing from ca. 1870, which means the gentleman in the portrait was most likely a resident of Karlsruhe or Frankfurt-am-Main.

Every time I discover a new work by Hermann Winterhalter, every time I realise more and more what a talented and gifted artist he was in his own right. The drawing has been entered under the provisional no. 195 in Hermann Winterhalter’s catalogue.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2015.

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 http://www.interencheres.com/ or http://www.auction.fr/ 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.

A Slight Case of Bartering

Rubens LadyA Slight Case of Bartering

Wilhelm von Bode’s memoirs offer another proof to the existence of the portraits of Barthold Suermondt and Nancy Haniel Suermondt (as mentioned in the previous post). Von Bode mentions that instead of receiving a full payment for their portraits, Winterhalter agreed to accept “zwei treffliche Frauenbildnisse von Rubens und Bordone” instead [Bode 1997, 305-6].

This off-the-cuff remark reveals that Winterhalter was not averse to bartering for his services, and also demonstrates how highly Winterhalter’s portraits were valued at the time, as the swap for two Old Master paintings by Sir Peter Paul Rubens and Paris Bordone seemed like a fair deal to such a seasoned art collector as Barthold Suermondt.

Von Bode goes on to say that Friedrich, Crown Prince of Prussia, saw the two Old Master portraits in Winterhalter’s studio in Baden (presumably in Karlsruhe), and immediately decided that these should be added to the collection of artworks he was gathering for his museum in Berlin (today the Bode Museum). This may have taken place around 1867 when the Crown Prince and his wife, Crown Princess Victoria, commissioned a pair of portraits from Winterhalter and presumably visited his studio in the process.

The artist promised that the Crown Prince could have the two Old Master portraits after his death. However, when Winterhalter died in 1873, it was discovered that the two paintings were bequeathed to his brother, Hermann Winterhalter. They were still in Hermann’s collection at the time of his death in 1891.

Under the terms of Franz Xaver and Hermann Winterhalter’s will, the Rubens and Bordone paintings were offered to Victoria, Dowager Empress of Germany, at 50.000 marks. To the best of my knowledge, the Rubens portrait is today in the collection of the Gemäldegalerie in Berlin; while the Bordone portrait remained by descent in the Empress’s family, and is today at the Schloß Fasanerie, Fulda.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2014

High Price Realised for a portrait by Hermann Winterhalter

016 60 Furtado-Heine

High Price Realised for a portrait by Hermann Winterhalter

Before I resume blog entries on the Winterhalter brothers, I would like to share a quick update on one of the previous posts.

The splendid painting by Hermann Winterhalter, Portrait of Mme Furtado-Heine (late 1850s / early 1860s, oil on canvas, 137.5 x 99.5 cm, Cat. No. HW 16), was sold at Christie’s Tableaux Anciens et du XIXe Siècle, in Paris, on 15 April 2013 (lot 61), for €121,500 (against the estimate of €30,000 – €50,000).

It is a the highest price ever paid for a single-figure portrait by Hermann Winterhalter, and the second highest price ever paid for any work by this artist (the highest price being USD$211,000 (against the estimate of US$180,000-220,000), paid for the Trois demoiselles de la famille de Châteaubourg (1850, oil on canvas, 102.2 x 81.3 cm, Cat. No. HW 117), at Christie’s 19th Century European Art, 8 April 2008, New York (lot 11).

While this price is still short of some of the more spectacular prices realised for the portraits of his famous brother, Franz Xaver Winterhalter, for me it shows that Hermann is also slowly getting the recognition that he so justly deserves.

As expressed before, I humbly hope that this work has gone to an institutional or an important private collection.

www.christies.com

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013.

Portrait of Cecile Furtado-Heine @ Christie’s Paris, 15 April 2013 (cat. no. H 16)

016 60 Furtado-Heine

Hermann Winterhalter

H 16: Mme Cécile Furtado-Heine (1821-1896), née Furtado

 Oil on canvas, 137.5 x 99.5 cm

Signed lower left: H. Winterhalter

Private Collection

Christie’s Paris is featuring in their Tableaux Anciens et du XIXe siècle sale in Paris, on 15 April 2013, lot 61, arguably one of the most important works by Hermann Winterhalter, Portrait of Mme Cécile Furtado-Heine (1821-1896), née Furtado.

Mme Furtado-Heine is depicted standing three-quarter-length to the left, against a neutrally coloured background, facing the viewer. Her hair is parted in the middle and arranged in ringlets on the sides. She is wearing an evening black and white silk and taffeta dress decorated with a black silk bow and a pearl brooch with a drop pearl pendant at her corsage. A pelt of brown fur (possibly of sable), is covering her arms.

The portrait is considered among Hermann Winterhalter’s finest: in the foreword to the Winterhalter Exhibition in 1928, Armad Dayot wrote: “Sa clientèle de modèles n’atteignit pas à la hauteur hiérarchique de celle de son frère, mais il trouva parfois cependant de flatteuses occasions d’exercer avec succès son réel talent de peintre de la figure, comme dans l’exécution des beaux portraits d’Amaury Duval et de Mme Furtado, pour ne citer que deux de ses meilleures peintures… L’une des toiles plus réussies de l’œuvre iconographique d’Hermann, le portrait de Mme Furtado, … d’une belle générosité d’exécution…”

This important work of institutional quality and significance is estimated at € 30,000-50,000. Should it reach these estimates, it will be the second highest price ever achieved for a work by Hermann Winterhalter on the art market.

http://www.christies.com/

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013

Portrait of a Lady @ Beaussant-Lefèvre, 5 April 2013 (cat. no. H 123)

123 57 Lady

Hermann Winterhalter

H 123. Portrait of a Lady, 1857, Paris

Oil on canvas, 115.0 x 89.0 cm

Signed, dated and inscribed lower centre left: H. Winterhalter / Paris / 1857

Private Collection

While we are on the subject of Hermann Winterhalter, two important portraits by the artist are coming up for sale in Paris.

Beaussant-Lefèvre, in their Importants Tableaux Anciens, Objets d’Art et de Bel Ameublement, on 5 April 2013, lot 49, have Hermann Winterhalter’s Portrait of a Lady, which is signed, and especially rare for Hermann Winterhalter, it is also sited and dated as painted in Paris in 1857.

The portrait depicts a lady, standing, three-quarter-length to the right, facing the viewer, hair parted in the middle with lace lappets descending to her neck and shoulders; wearing a black silk dress overlaid with black lace and matching shawl; hands crossed over below waist; with roses in her corsage and holding a fan in her left hand; the background is neutral with imitation of a skyscape.

At the time of writing, earlier provenance and the identity of the sitter remain unknown.

The portrait is modestly estimated at € 4,000-6,000. It has been on the market a few times before, so hopefully this rare signed and dated work would find a more permanent home this time round.

© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg, 2013