November 8, 2012 § 5 Comments
Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)
Portrait of Karl Spindler (1796-1855)
1830, oil on canvas, 70 x 58 cm, Private Collection
Winterhalter’s portrait of Karl Spindler 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):
“This strikingly vigorous portrait of the writer, Karl Spindler, must have been painted when Spindler was resident in Munich between 1827 and 1832, at the same time that Winterhalter had made his base there. The Hussar’s uniform which Spindler wears reinforces his self-consciously artistic pose, giving the sitter a more romantic air which is perhaps borne out by the carefully tousled hair. The sense of movement implicit in the half-length pose with its jutting hand, in which the sitter is silhouetted against the sky, was not to be repeated in Winterhalter’s considerably more formal male portraits executed during his long career. The portrait of Spindler seems to indicate that Winterhalter’s male portraiture could have taken an entirely different direction. When the painting was exhibited at Baden in 1873, the critic of the Karlsruher Zeitung wrote that : “One painting from his earliest days, the portrait of the novelist Spindler, already carries the marks of a great master.” ”
© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.