Franz Xaver WINTERHALTER (Menzenschwand 1805 - Frankfurt 1873)

Drapery Study Sold

Black chalk, oil paint and gouache on light brown paper.
252 x 357 mm. (9 7/8 x 14 in.)


Datable to the 1830s, this drapery study is quite possibly related to the cape seen beneath the reclining Italian peasant at the right foreground of Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s grand Neapolitan genre scene Il Dolce Farniente of 1836, today in a private collection. Although no exact preparatory drawings for this large canvas have yet been identified, as has been noted, ‘the picture must have been painted from a series of careful studies and with the aid of professional models. It is, in essence, an academic arrangement of individual studio poses.’ As another scholar has recently noted of Winterhalter, and of the present sheet, ‘The portrait painter from the Black Forest mastered one skill to perfection: rendering fine textiles and other materials, such as gleaming silks, airy tulle, and iridescent pearls. Two oil sketches that are still owned by Winterhalter’s descendants attest to the artist’s intensive study of folds and the qualities of materials.’

The studio of the artist
Thence by descent in the family of the artist to Thomas C. Bender.

Helga Kessler Aurisch et al, Franz Xavier Winterhalter, Maler im Auftrag seiner Majestät, exhibition catalogue, Freiburg, 2015-2016, p.52, fig.3; Mirja Straub, ‘Franz Xaver Winterhalter, Painter of Women’, in Helga Kessler Aurisch et al, High Society: The Portraits of Franz Xaver Winterhalter, exhibition catalogue, Houston, 2016, p.52, fig.3.


Drapery Study


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