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Friedrich von Amerling "Vienna Banker Ignaz Biedermann", rediscovered large painting!!, 1847/49
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In the 1840/50s, Vienna's leading 19th-century portraitist Friedrich von Amerling was the favorite artist of the Jewish textile and banking family Biedermann, whose numerous members he portrayed in that period.
Moreover, von Amerling was especially close to Ignaz Biedermann, and could have well been the latter's friend (apart from painting at least three of his portraits, von Amerling regularly presented Ignaz Biedermann and his wife with New Year's presents - see our image nr.16).
Friedrich von Amerling's catalogue raisonné completed by Günther Probszt (Vienna, 1927) lists three portraits of Ignaz Biedermann:
1.) No. 710 made in 1847 ("Ignaz Biedermann in mittelalterlichem Konstüm" / English: "Ignaz Biedermann in middle-age costume")
2.) No. 730 made in 1848 ("Ignaz Biedermann, Bankier (banker)"); this portrait is widely known - see our image nr.18
3.) No. 739 made in 1849 ("Ignaz Biedermann")
Besides listing the above portraits, Probszt notes that No. 710 was altered in 1861 and No. 739 - in 1855, respectively. Our large painting must be one of these two altered portraits, for one cannot not deny the striking similarity of the "No. 730 sitter" (see our image nr.18) and the one presented in "our" portrait.
Not too much information about Ignaz Biedermann is available on the Web.
We have learned that he was born in Vienna in 1808 and died in the same city in 1872. He was a son (and from 1843 - the successor) of Vienna's well-known wholesale merchant and founder of "M.L. Biedermann-Bank" - Michael Lazar Biedermann (1769-1843). It is known that the latter came to Vienna in 1792 as a seal-engraver Michael Lazar, and adopted (with Kaiser's permission) the name Biedermann. He was entrusted with the engraving of the imperial seals. Thus, he at once became prominent in his trade, and by 1800 was able to open a jeweler's store. Soon, he became interested in the wool trade, and in 1802 commenced business as a wool merchant. In 1807, an English firm bought wool from him at the Leipzig Fair to the amount of $300,000. He also took great interest in the welfare of the Jewish "Gemeinde" (community) of Vienna, of which he was the representative from 1806 until his death. In 1830, he received the title of "Jeweler to the Emperor of Austria". One of the streets in the 12th district of Vienna - Biedermanngasse - was named after him (see also our images nr.20-22).
His son ("our" sitter) Ignaz was also a significant representative of the Vienna Jewish Community, and member of the charitable society "Chevra-Kadischa" (see our image nr.23). He was also an avid art collector (for example, see our image nr.24); clearly, this hobby had brought him close to Friedrich von Amerling, who himself also possessed a large art collection.
Friedrich von Amerling (1803 Vienna - 1887 ibid.) was an outstanding Austrian portrait painter of the 19th century. In 1816-1823 he studied at the Vienna Academy. In mid 1820s he travelled to London intending to get acquainted with Thomas Lawrence, who was considered the greatest portrait painter of the time. Lawrence allowed the young artist to visit his studio and to continue his education after the master's accomplished works. 11 months later F.von Amerling moved to Paris, where he was friendly received by Horace Vernet. After his return to Vienna he soon became one of the most popular portraitists of the Austrian high society. He worked in Italy in 1831 and 1841-44. Around 1000 portraits created by the artist are known to exist; many of them are now missing. Works of F.von Amerling are displayed in the greatest museums worldwide.
Some paintings by Amerling achieve today at the international art auction market very high prices (see our images nr.30-37).
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Provenance: Swiss private estate (two generations long thought to be a work of an unknown 19th-century European artist)
Condition: good; recently lined (see our image nr.12); original canvas on verso (photographed before the process of lining) bears stamp of Viennese canvas-seller (see image nr.15); in magnificent and original (!) Vienna Biedermeier frame (with a label of frame-maker and gilder Anton Pauller - see image nr.13).
Creation Year: 1847/49
Measurements: UNFRAMED:111,0x84,5cm/43,7x33,3in FRAMED: 142,0x117,5cm/55,9x46,3in
Object Type: Framed oil painting
Style: Biedermeier paintings
Technique: oil on canvas
Inscription: unsigned; label (on verso of the frame) of "Wiener Künstlerhaus" with accession number 1036
Creator: Friedrich von Amerling
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: 1803 Vienna-1887 Vienna
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