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Friedrich Heinrich Fueger "Marie Therese, Madame Royale", outstanding large miniature!!! 1796/99
Price: ON REQUEST
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In our collection of portrait miniatures counting over four thousand pieces, this work is by far the best one!
This miniature was acquired in September 2011 at one of German provincial auction houses.
Clearly signed: "Füger /23 April", this large and exceedingly qualitative work of great Viennese portraitist Friedrich Heinrich Fueger turned out to be not only an extremely important addition to published in 2009 Fueger's Catalogue Raisonné by Dr. Robert Keil, but also a thus far entirely unknown (and possibly the most important of all sitter's miniature portraits) representation of 17-19-year-old Princess Marie Therese Charlotte de France, daughter of executed in Paris Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.
Besides the obvious physiognomic likeness to her depictions in other known portraits (including those by Fueger; see our images nr.17-19 and nr.39-45), we see here another very important detail pointing us to this very person - it is the (thrown atop an armchair) blue velvet mantle embroidered with Bourbon fleur-de-lys (lilies) and adorned with royal ermine (images nr.8-9).
Marie Therese could have sat for this portrait only in the period between January 1796 and May 1799, i.e. during her 3.5-year-long stay in Vienna. She came to this city on January 9th 1796, twenty-two days after her release from the Temple (she spent over three years in this Parisian prison: first, with her whole family, and later, alone - as its only surviving member; on December 18th 1795 Marie Therese was liberated - she was exchanged for Nicolas Marie Quinette, Baron de Rochemont, who was until then detained by Austrians).
It is known that Fueger portrayed Marie Therese six times during her aforementioned 3.5-year-long stay in Vienna. He painted oil on canvas portrait of her (see image nr.17), as well as five others - all evidently portrait miniatures. Our miniature is one of the three thus far unknown miniatures (out of these five).
Marie Therese looks here somewhat older as in her other portrait in our possession (executed by one of Fueger's pupils; see our web # 34894).
It means that this miniature was made shortly before Marie Therese's left Austria. "23 April" (see signature) could well refer to "23 April 1799", i.e. ten days preceding her departure on May 2nd 1799 (this date marked the commencement of her voyage to Mittau (then Russian town in the province Courland; now Yelgava in Latvia), where she was awaited by her fiancé, Louis Antoine Duke of Angouleme (son of Comte d'Artois and, respectively, her first cousin).
Similarly, it means that our other miniature portrait of Marie Therese (our web # 34894 ) was painted 2-3 years earlier, probably shortly after her arrival to Vienna, i.e. in the early 1796.
Friedrich Heinrich Fueger (1751 Heilbronn - 1818 Vienna) was an Austro-German neoclassicist painter born in Heilbronn, Germany in 1751. He began autodidactically with miniature portraits and as a young boy was shortly trained by the artist Guibal in Ludwigsburg. However he returned to Heilbronn to study law in 1768 and during his university studies continued painting portrait miniatures. His interest in painting grew and he dedicated himself to studying art as pupil of Oeser in Leipzig. He exhibited succesfully at the Dresdner Academy and moved to Dresden, where he worked until the year 1774 then moving to Vienna. He soon enjoyed the interest of the Imperial House and other influential sponsors in Vienna and traveled to Rome on a scolarship in 1776 studying the classical works, Raffael, Annibal Caracci and Domenichino. Among his contemporaries the artists Mengs, Trippel and David had a strong influence on his works. He returned to Vienna in 1783 to be appointed the Vice-director of the Vienna Academy in the same year and Director of the Academy in 1795. From 1806 he was also Director of the Imperial Picture Gallery. He was a very popular portrait and historical painter, a respected master of his time.
*See also our image nr.54 for artist's extensive biography (Wikipedia).
Works of F. H. Fueger achieve particularly high prices at the current international art auction market (see our images nr.55-61).
Condition: good; in original neoclassical ormolu frame; the inner wall of the backing cover bears a pre-war stamp of the Austrian "Denkmalamt" (state department in charge of export of works of art and objects of cultural interest)
Creation Year: 1796/99
Measurements:UNFRAMED:18,0x13,5cm/7,1x5,3in FRAMED: 20,5x15,8cm/8,1x6,2in
Object Type:Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on vellum (oval), laid (by edges) on oval card of the same size
Inscription:signed and dated: Füger /23 April
Creator: Friedrich Heinrich Fueger
Creator Dates: 1751 Heilbronn-1818 Vienna
Nationality:German / Austrian
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