November 12, 2012 § 2 Comments
Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873)
Portrait of Napoléon-Alexandre Berthier, 2e Prince et Duc de Wagram (1810-1887), with his daughter,
Mlle Malcy Berthier de Wagram, Princesse Murat (1832-1884)
1837, oil on canvas, 186.0 x 138.0 cm, Private Collection
Winterhalter’s portrait of Napoléon-Alexandre Berthier, 2e Prince et Duc de Wagram, with his daughter, Mlle Malcy Berthier de Wagram, Princesse Murat 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. 179):
“The Prince de Wagram is seated with his daughter, Malcy-Louise-Caroline-Frédérique on a Louis-XIII-style double seat. He wears a black double-breasted frock coat and black trousers with an instep under his shoe. His black silk cravat is held with a pearl pin. The girl wears a white silk and muslin frock, the bodice trimmed with lace, with crimson velvet bows at the sleeves and in her hair. With one leg tucked under her, she lays a trusting hand on her father’s sleeve. A greyhound looks up from the left, a symbol of fidelity and an allusion to family devotion.
“The painting marked a turning point in Winterhalter’s career in France. Hitherto, he had been celebrated for his genre work. At the 1838 Salon, Winterhalter showed three paintings, two of which were portraits… Henceforth, Winterhalter’s professional competence as a portrait artist was recognised. He could treat a life-size subject, and handle realism or affecting charm with equal success…
© Eugene Barilo von Reisberg 2012.