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Lot 45: Oil Painting "Portrait of a Lady", Germany, around 1870
December 7, 2012
Berlin, GermanyLive Auction
Oil on canvas
Germany, around 1870
Overall dimensions, framed: 73.5 x 85.5 cm
This fine portrait in oil on canvas shows the profile of a lady in a green dress. Her brown hair is piled up to an exuberant coiffure that reminds a little of the well-known artistic hair styles of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. The classical profile of the woman is mitigated by her gentle eyes and the delicate Biedermeier jewellery and lace trimming of her dress. The portrait is not static; seemingly unconsciously, the woman plays with the long, filigree gold necklace around her neck. In this way the artist is able to incorporate soft movement into the portrait. Moreover, he creates a bright diagonal in the otherwise quite dark painting, which leads from the lower right corner over her hand and the golden brooch on her dress to her pale face, letting the viewer's gaze wander repeatedly from the woman's hand to her face and back. The bright areas are counterbalanced by the darker areas of the hair and background, which offset and emphasise the brightness.The oil painting is in good condition with craquelure and few paint flakes. It was relined and coated with a varnish. Crossings from one canvas to the other are partly visible on the edges. A small blemish in the coating is visible above the head of the woman. The beautiful stucco frame displays clearly visible signs of age and wear and loss of material as well as touch-ups in some areas. The overall dimensions, framed, are 73.5 x 85.5 cm. The dimensions of the stretcher frame are 68 x 56 cm.