Thursday, December 28, 2017

05 Paintings, PORTRAIT OF A LADY, of the 18th & 19th C., with Footnotes. #24

Franz Xaver Winterhalter, (1805-1873), German
Elisabeth Kaiserin von Österreich, c. 1865
Oil painting on canvas
117 × 158 cm (46.1 × 62.2 in)
Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria

Elisabeth of Bavaria (24 December 1837 – 10 September 1898) was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, and many others (see Grand title of the Empress of Austria) by marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I.

Born into the royal Bavarian house of Wittelsbach, Elisabeth enjoyed an informal upbringing before marrying Emperor Franz Joseph I at the age of sixteen. The marriage thrust her into the much more formal Habsburg court life, for which she was unprepared and which she found uncongenial. Early in the marriage she was at odds with her mother-in-law, Archduchess Sophie, who took over the rearing of Elisabeth's daughters, one of whom, Sophie, died in infancy. The birth of a male heir, Rudolf, improved her standing at court considerably, but her health suffered under the strain, and she would often visit Hungary for its more relaxed environment. She came to develop a deep kinship with Hungary, and helped to bring about the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867.

The death of her only son Rudolf, and his mistress Mary Vetsera, in a murder–suicide at his hunting lodge at Mayerling in 1889 was a blow from which Elisabeth never recovered. She withdrew from court duties and travelled widely, unaccompanied by her family. She was obsessively concerned with maintaining her youthful figure and beauty, which were already legendary during her life. While travelling in Geneva in 1898, she was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist named Luigi Lucheni. Elisabeth was the longest serving Empress of Austria, at 44 years. More on Elisabeth Kaiserin von Österreich

Franz Xaver Winterhalter, (1805-1873), German
Elisabeth, Empress of Austria, c.1864
Oil painting on canvas
Hofburg in Vienna, Austria

Portrait of Elisabeth depicting her long hair, one of two so-called "intimate" portraits of the empress; although its existence was kept a secret from the general public, it was the emperor's favourite portrait of her and kept opposite his desk in his private study

Franz Xaver Winterhalter (20 April 1805 – 8 July 1873) was born in a small village in Germany's Black Forest, Franz Xaver Winterhalter left his home to study painting at the academy in Munich. Before becoming court painter to Louis-Philippe, the king of France, he joined a circle of French artists in Rome. In 1835, after he painted the German Grand Duke and Duchess of Baden, Winterhalter's international career as a court portrait painter was launched. Although he never received high praise for his work in his native Germany, the royal families of England, France, and Belgium all commissioned him to paint portraits. His monumental canvases established a substantial popular reputation, and lithographic copies of the portraits helped to spread his fame. 

Winterhalter's portraits were prized for their subtle intimacy, but his popularity among patrons came from his ability to create the image his sitters wished or needed to project to their subjects. He was able to capture the moral and political climate of each court, adapting his style to each client until it seemed as if his paintings acted as press releases, issued by a master of public relations. More on Franz Xaver Winterhalter

John Singer Sargent, (American, born Italy, 1856-1925)
Rose Marie Ormond, c. 1912
Oil, canvas
80 x 58.4 cm
Private Collection

Rose-Marie (later Madame Robert André-Michel 1893-1918), was the niece to John Singer Sargent, daughter to Violet Sargent Ormond. Widow of Robert André-Michel  killed at Saint-Gervais, on Good Friday, 1918 by German bombardment. More on this painting



John Singer Sargent (January 12, 1856 – April 14, 1925) was an American artist, considered the "leading portrait painter of his generation" for his evocations of Edwardian era luxury. During his career, he created roughly 900 oil paintings and more than 2,000 watercolors, as well as countless sketches and charcoal drawings. His oeuvre documents worldwide travel, from Venice to the Tyrol, Corfu, the Middle East, Montana, Maine, and Florida.


His parents were American, but he was trained in Paris prior to moving to London. Sargent enjoyed international acclaim as a portrait painter, although not without controversy and some critical reservation; an early submission to the Paris Salon, his "Portrait of Madame X", was intended to consolidate his position as a society painter, but it resulted in scandal instead. From the beginning his work was characterized by remarkable technical facility, particularly in his ability to draw with a brush, which in later years inspired admiration as well as criticism for a supposed superficiality. His commissioned works were consistent with the grand manner of portraiture, while his informal studies and landscape paintings displayed a familiarity with Impressionism. In later life Sargent expressed ambivalence about the restrictions of formal portrait work, and devoted much of his energy to mural painting and working en plein air. He lived most of his life in Europe. More John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent, (American, born Italy, 1856-1925)
Winifred, Duchess of Portland, 1902
Oil on canvas
Private collection

Winifred Anna Cavendish-Bentinck, Duchess of Portland DBE JP (née Dallas-Yorke; 7 September 1863 – 30 July 1954) was a British humanitarian and animal welfare activist. Born at Murthly Castle, Perthshire. She served as a canopy bearer to HM Queen Alexandra at the 1902 coronation of King Edward VII, and was Mistress of the Robes from 1913 until Alexandra's death in 1925. She married William John Arthur James Cavendish-Bentinck on 11 June 1889. They had three children.

The Duchess of Portland was a passionate animal lover, who kept stables for old horses and ponies, as well as dogs needing homes. In 1891, she became the first president of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and was vice-president of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. She was also president of the ladies committee of the RSPCA.


In 1889, she persuaded the duke to use a large portion of his horseracing winnings to build almshouses at Welbeck. She cared greatly for the local miners and supported them by paying for medical treatments, and organising cooking and sewing classes for their daughters. She also sponsored a miner, with an interest in art, to study in London.

In honor of her support, the Nottinghamshire Miners' Welfare Association petitioned the king on her behalf; and in 1935 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire on his silver jubilee. She was also made a Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa in Spain. More on Winifred, Duchess of Portland

John Singer Sargent, (American, born Italy, 1856-1925), see above

Donato Creti, CREMONA 1671 - 1749 BOLOGNA
A SIBYL
Oil on canvas
28 1/4  by 23 1/8  in.; 72.4 by 58.7 cm.
Private Collection

The sibyls were women that the ancient Greeks believed were oracles. The earliest sibyls, according to legend, prophesied at holy sites. Their prophecies were influenced by divine inspiration from a deity; originally at Delphi and Pessinos, the deities were chthonic deities. In Late Antiquity, various writers attested to the existence of sibyls in Greece, Italy, the Levant, and Asia Minor. More on The sibyls

Donato Creti (24 February 1671 – 31 January 1749) was an Italian painter of the Rococo period, active mostly in Bologna.

Born in Cremona, he moved to Bologna, where he was a pupil of Lorenzo Pasinelli. He is described by Wittkower as the "Bolognese Marco Benefial", in that his style was less decorative and edged into a more formal neoclassical style. It is an academicized grand style, that crystallizes into a manneristic neoclassicism, with crisp and frigid modeling of the figures. Among his followers were Aureliano Milani, Francesco Monti, and Ercole Graziani the Younger. Two other pupils were Domenico Maria Fratta and Giuseppe Peroni. More on Donato Creti








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