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Franz Xaver Ferdinand von Lampi (1782-1852) "Portrait of a Polish beauty", oil on canvas, 1829
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Depicted with a bow as goddess Diana (Artemis) and posing in romantic evening landscape with waterfall, this young beautiful woman in blue neoclassical gown was surely one of the representatives of Polish aristocracy of the 1st third of the 19th century. Unfortunately, her name remains unknown to us...
We do, however, know the name of the author of this wonderful romantic portrait - Franz Xaver Ferdinand Ritter (in Italian "Eques"; equals to title of a "Baron") von Lampi, son of Austro-Italian painter Johann Baptist Lampi. His signature is still visible on verso of the canvas: "J: F: Eques de Lampi /pinx.(1)829" (probably first letter "J" is in reality "X" which was later altered).
We would also like to add that one of the most favorite subjects of this artist (besides his portrait works) were romantic landscapes with waterfalls, often painted by him in the manner close to that of Francesco Casanova. Lampi depicted exactly this kind of landscape in the background of our portrait.
Franz Xaver Ferdinand von Lampi was the youngest son of the famous Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder (1751-1830) and a younger brother of the better known Johann Baptist Lampi the Younger (1775-1837). In his early youth he showed a talent for art and together with his elder brother attended the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, where he was trained by Maurer, Duvivier and Fueger. Following his father's will, the artist married when he was young. The marriage was a source of many disagreements with the father, who finally disinherited his son.
Lampi left Vienna. He visited Germany, where he enthusiastically continued his art training. In 1815 he arrived to Warsaw, the city he liked so much that it became a place of his permanent residence until his death. In the meantime, though, Lampi undertook numerous painting trips, sometimes long, sometimes short: to Cracow (1817-1818), then to Lemberg (now Lvov, Ukraine), Kalisz, Lublin and Vilna (now Vilnius, Lithuania). In 1823 he stayed in Vienna for a short time (was this portrait painted during this stay?), around 1836 spent a longer period of time in Breslau (Wroclaw), in 1840 lived in Dresden, Munich and Berlin. In 1852 the artist - like many others - became a victim of cholera epidemic, which captured Warsaw at that time.
Lampi was a productive painter, and many of his works are displayed in museum and private collections in Poland. Along with portraits, he created historical, landscape and church paintings, although portrait always remained his main subject. Lampi was also a skilled art teacher. He taught - among athers - Michalowski and Stattler, in 1841 became a director of his own art school. His exhibitions took place in Warsaw in 1838, 1840 and 1845.
Our additional images offer extensive biography of the artist and show few other works by him.
See also other three portraits by him in our possession).
Provenance: noble estate, Vienna / Austria
Condition: good; unlined; in magnificent original frame
Creation Year: 1829
Measurements:UNFRAMED:95,2x82,0cm/37,5x32,3in FRAMED: 115,7x102,5cm/45,6x40,4in
Object Type:Framed oil painting
Style: 19th century paintings
Technique: oil on canvas
Inscription:verso is signed and dated: J: F: Eques de Lampi /pinx. (1)829
Creator: Franz Xaver Ferdinand von Lampi
Creator Dates: 1782-1852
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