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Austria 19th century

Portrait of the Archduchess Maria Theresia

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Portrait of the Archduchess Maria Theresia

Oil/canvas, 76,8 x 62,6 cm

go Inv. Nr.11111 1979 157, Loan from Land Salzburg

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follow DAFFINGER Moritz Michael

source 1790 Vienna – 1849 Vienna


ο»Ώ DAFFINGER Moritz Michael
This painter of portraits and plants started his training in 1801 as his father's pupil at the Wiener Porzellanmanufaktur (Vienna Porcelain Factory). From 1802, he studied concurrently at the Vienna Academy under Hubert Maurer (1738–1818). In 1812, he left the factory to work primarily as a miniature painter. He drew his inspiration, inter alia, from Jan Baptiste Isabey (1767–1855), who was active in Vienna in 1812, but primarily from Thomas Lawrence (1769–1830), who stayed in Vienna between January and May 1819. Daffinger owned several mezzotint engravings of the Englishman's works and he took over important compositional elements from Lawrence, who was acclaimed throughout Europe. After 1820, by drawing on this training and inspiration, Daffinger became the most fashionable portraitist of Viennese society. For the guestbook of Princess Melanie Metternich (1805–1854), the artist executed 65 miniature paintings. After 1841, Daffinger, who counted Franz Grillparzer among his friends, turned to flower painting. Portrait of the Archduchess Maria Theresia
The little archduchess(1816–1867), later queen of Naples and Sicily, (1837–1860) gazes at the beholder with her dark eyes. The daughter of Archduke Karl (1771–1847), the victor of Aspern, and of Archduchess Henriette of Nassau-Weilburg (1797–1829) was portrayed when she was approximately three years old. The likeness, which was originally part of the collection of Archduke Ludwig Viktor (1842–1919) at Kleίheim Palace, is a slightly modified copy of a painting by Thomas Lawrence. The original is thought to have been executed in 1819, while the artist was in Vienna, and is to be found at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien, NG 153. Lawrence chose for his purpose a type of portrait which he had taken over from his teacher Joshua Reynolds (1723–1792), namely a picture of a child seated in the open air. From Lawrence, Daffinger took over and incorporated also in later portraits several compositional elements, such as the dark-red, draped curtain, a symbol of dignity. The depiction of the princess playing with her shoe-laces creates a charming effect. This motif was intended to underline the informality of the scene and was repeatedly used by Lawrence in children's portraits. In the copy, which he is thought to have executed in 1819, Daffinger adopted the English manner of painting, but deviated from the original in what the portrait expresses and in the execution of the park landscape in the background. A miniature which Daffinger painted of this likeness is in private ownership.


go site Literature
Gabriele Groschner, Thomas Habersatter, Erika Mayr-Oehring (Ed.): Masterworks. Residenzgalerie Salzburg. Salzburg 2002, p. 120

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