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Josef Kreutzinger "Maria Countess Cziraky, nee Batthyany", important miniature!!, 1816/1818
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 3200 USD
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The lady sitter in this highly qualitative miniature portrait (she appears to be at the age of 30-35) was surely of highly aristocratic descent: note the impressive park landscape with "Temple of Friendship" in the background of composition.
She is dressed and coiffed according to fashion of the mid-1810s. An old inscription on verso of the portrait (see our image nr.8) reveals her name - "Gräfin (Countess - B.W.) Bathany". We would like to make it clear that there existed no countly family by the name "Bathany". The author of the aforementioned inscription had misinterpreted the famous Hungarian aristocratic name "Batthyany".
Hence, we are dealing with portrait of certain 30/35-year-old Countess Batthyany depicted in the mid-1810s in park of her residence.
As a result of a thorough research, we have finally established the lady's true identity. After discovering another (lithographic) portrait of this woman on the Web, which was made in the 1830s (i.e.about 20 years later than the one in our possession), we have arrived at a solid conclusion that we are dealing with an extremely rare (and possible earliest) portrait of 33/35-year-old Countess Maria Cziraky, nee Countess Batthyany. This portrait was executed shortly after her marriage (January 14, 1816) to very wealthy Hungarian aristocrat, Austrian courtier and minister, Anton (Antal) Count Cziraky de Czirak et Dénesfalva (1772-1852; see our images nr.13-15).
In "our" portrait, the countess appears rather corpulent - an indication that she could have well been portrayed in her pregnancy (it is also known that on December 29, 1818, she gave birth to her (single) child - son Janos Count Cziraky (1818-1884; he became a doctor of law, high-ranking official and politician (member of Hungarian Parliament))
Moreover, she is depicted in the park of her husband's castle in Lovasberény (village by Székesfehérvar, in Central Hungary- see our images nr.16-17).
Countess Maria was born on April 10, 1783 in Székesfehérvar (Hungary) as a daughter of Count Emmerich (Imre) Batthyany and his wife Maria Anna, Countess Haller de Hallerkeö. Count Anton Cziraky married her one year later after the death of his first wife, Julia Countess Illeshazy (1794-1814). Shortly after the wedding, Maria was awarded Austrian Lady's Order of Star Cross and the court title of "Palastdame" (lady-in-waiting of Empress). She died on March 31, 1840, in Vienna (her obituary informs that she died of "Nervenfieber" (typhus). Her husband outlived her by twelve years and managed to marry for the third time (October 18, 1843; Carolina von Walterskirchen (1794-1884)). .
Our comparison images nr.19-21 convincingly prove that we are dealing with a very typical work of leading Viennese court portrait painter (and miniaturist!), Josef Kreutzinger.
Josef Kreutzinger (also Kreuzinger; 1757 Vienna - 1829 ibidem) studied from 1768 at the Viennese "Academy St. Anna" (Academy of Fine Art) and after 1774 was strongly influenced by Viennese Neoclassical historical painter and portraitist Friedrich Heinrich Fueger who arrived in Vienna this year. Kreutzinger became Fueger's pupil immediately. After a short stay in Munich and several months in St. Petersburg (1793), Kreutzinger returned to Vienna where he later became a sought after portraitist of high society and court (he was also appointed"Hofkammermahler" (court artist)). His works of this period demonstrate a strong influence of English portraitists of the 18th century - Lawrence, Reynolds and Gainsborough. From Lawrence originates the "en-face" representation of faces with a sidewards glance and upper body facing in the opposite direction in three-quarters portraits. Reminiscent of Gainsborough are portraits where the depicted person stands next to their horse. Besides royalties and high aristocracy Kreutzinger's clientele consisted of military persons, scholars and artists. Later he also portrayed representatives of Viennese bourgeosie. He was also active as engraver and portrait miniaturist. In 1936 one of Vienna's streets was named in his honor - Kreutzingergasse in the Viennese 12th district.
Provenance: English private collection
Condition: fairly good; in original brass frame
Creation Year: 1816/1818
Measurements: UNFRAMED:7,0x5,9cm/2,8x2,3in FRAMED: 7,6x6,5cm/3,0x2,6in
Object Type: Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Inscription: old inscription on verso: "Gräffin Bathany"
Creator: Josef Kreutzinger
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: 1757 Vienna-1829 Vienna
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