Verification: 30793b9ef56f65e0

JOHANN GEORG WEIKERT, attr. to

PORTRAIT OF PRINCESS JOSEPHA SOPHIE VON LIECHTENSTEIN (1776–1848), NÉE LANDGRAVINE ZU FÜRSTENBERG-WEITRA

JOHANN GEORG WEIKERT
Wien 1743/5 – 1799 Wien

Oil on canvas
58 x 46 cm / 22.8 x 18.1 inches, with frame 69 x 57 cm / 27.2 x 22.4 inches

PROVENANCE
Austria, private collection

This portrait is interesting, especially as it is a rare and unique example of direct French influence in Austrian painting.

The dating of the portrait is fairly easy to establish due to the costume and hairstyle - it is 1792-94. Further clarification can be provided by the presence of a headscarf on her head - this is a tribute to Turkish fashion, which came to Europe in the early 1790s after the Russo-Turkish War (1787-91), in which Austria took part alongside Russia.
This was a paradoxical period in the history of Austrian art, particularly portraiture. At this time, two of the greatest Viennese portrait painters left - Joseph Grassi for Warsaw and Giovanni Battista Lampi for St Petersburg. Weikert became the de facto chief portraitist. However, at the same time, in 1792, Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun arrived in Vienna. She painted many portraits, but her style was not at all recognised in the Austrian capital. Disappointed, Vigée-Lebrun left Vienna and settled in the Austrian countryside with her friend the Prince de Ligne. The Austrian aristocrats did not accept Vigée-Lebrun's "too French" style, but the local painters, particularly Weikert, studied her paintings with great attention.
This portrait is a very good example of how Vigée-Lebrun's portrait formula was adapted by an Austrian painter. Although Weikert was unable to change his artistic technique, he was able to see new compositional techniques. Indeed, the frontal staging of the figure, the slight tilt of the head, the great attention paid to the sitter's eyes and the highly sensual treatment of the face all bear witness to the study of Vigée-Lebrun's paintings.

Wladyslaw MAXIMOWICZ
Bratislava, 2023


Base: Canvas

Epoque: XIX century

Epoque: XVIII century

School: Austrian

Genre: Portrait

Technic: Oil

See also
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