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Wilhelmine v. Zenge (1780-1852)-? "Portrait of a lady", interesting pastel, ca. 1820
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 1450 USD
( for EUR price see date rate )
Please note: Shipping and insurance costs are not included in this promotion, ONLY ITEM PRICES!
(please note additional 13% tax applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)
Probably we are dealing here with an extreme rarity at the current antique market - a work of German female artist of the 1st half of 19th century, Wilhelmine von Zenge. This portrait of a (about 40 years old in appearance) lady, dressed and hair-styled according to fashion of ca. 1820, is with certain degree of possibility a self-portrait of 40-year-old Wilhelmine, then - already Mme Krug (compare with another portrait of her from ca. 1800 - see our image nr.7).
On the other hand was known (mentioned by Thieme-Becker) another female pastel portrait by her - that of her friend Betty Tischbein (see our image nr.14)...
However, what is most interesting is not the presented here portrait but its (possible) artist, and the significant trace she left in the history of German literature.
Wilhelmine von Zenge was the eldest daughter of garrison commander August Wilhelm Harmann von Zenge, who in the early February of 1799 was ordered in Frankfurt, promoted to General-Major, and given the command over Frankfurt 24th Infantry Regiment.
Wilhelmine attended the Lindow Abbey convent for noble ladies near Neuruppin. The family lived in Nonnenwinkel district of Frankfurt, steps away from the Church of Saint Mary.
Their neighboring house was the home of Auguste Helene von Massow - the aunt and custodian of five orphans of Major Joachim Friedrich von Kleist. The children frequented each other's houses, went for walks together and played music with each other.
When Heinrich von Kleist (see our images 10-12) quit the military service and went to study at Viadrina University in Frankfurt, he excitingly recounted the lectures of Professor Christian Ernst WŁnsch in the house of Zenge family. He also offered Wilhelmine his help with her weak spelling. Briefly after he offered her a declaration of love and asked for her hand in marriage. After some hesitation Wilhelmine accepted his marriage proposal, and both entered the so-called "unofficial engagement" under the condition that Kleist would find a job before the marriage, so that he could provide for his family.
One of von Zenge family's frequent house guest was the (appointed in 1801 in Viadrina University) associate Professor of Philosophy and Theology, Wilhelm Traugott Krug. Krug became attracted to Wilhelmine for her "gentle nature". In her letter to Krug on June 16th 1803, Wilhelmine described to him her relationship with Kleist. She wrote to him that "the distance is only the Good Lord's noble means to test the feeling dominating my heart" and declared her love for him.
The Christmas of 1803 marked the engagement of Krug and Zenge, and on the 8th of January 1804 the couple was married in the Frankfurt Church of Saint Mary. Their son Otto Krug - the first out of six children - was born in March of 1805. Soon the family moved to Koenigsberg, where Krug became the successor of Immanuel Kant. It was in this city that Wilhelmine again met Kleist, who from May 1805 worked there as a Diaetar (clerk in preparatory service without fixed pay). From 1809 Krug held a professorship in Leipzig.
Wilhelmine passed away after 10-year-long widowhood, in her apartment in Leipzig Naundoerfchen nr.1015. Two days later she was buried next to her husband at the Old St. John's cemetery in Leipzig.
Provenance: German antique trade
Condition: good; in newer, hand-carved frame in Florentine style
Creation Year: ca 1820
Measurements: UNFRAMED:56,0x40,0cm/22,0x15,7in FRAMED: 80,0x58,0cm/31,5x22,8in
Object Type: Framed pastel
Style: 19th century paintings
Technique: pastel on vellum (mounted onto stretcher by the artist)
Inscription: monogrammed: WZ
Creator: Wilhelmine von Zenge
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: 1780 Berlin-1852 Leipzig
- 2-3 days door-to-door shipment, professionally packed by Mail Boxes Etc and shipped with DHL (calculated for US):
276,66 EUR + insurance 1,8% of item price
Shipping cost to other destinations (worldwide) on request
Shipping price may be reduced if you dispense with the frame
- Cheaper alternative (may be further reduced if you dispense with the frame): professionally packed by Mail Boxes Etc and shipped with regular Austrian mail - upon request under
(OBS: In this case maximal refunded insurance value is EUR 500 if shipping destination was the US. In Europe sometimes more, depending on destination.)
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