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Johann August Schwartz "Portrait of Doris v. Viereck, Maid of Honor of Queen Luise", pastel, ca. 1805
Price: 8900 EUR
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Found in a private Berlin collection, this pastel was offered by its previous owner as portrait of a young, "unknown" lady (her dress and hairstyle suggest ca. 1805). It is a typical work of one of the best German pastelists of the turn of the 19th century - Johann Christian August Schwartz (for comparison see our images nr.11-14).
Moreover, as one will learn below, this superior quality pastel portrait was executed either in Berlin (where Schwartz was active at the time), or in the neighboring city of Potsdam, which was the residence seat of the Prussian Royal Family.
We have discovered another portrait of this young lady, namely the one executed several years later (based on her dress). It was painted by Schwartz' Berlin colleague (and a court miniaturist) Nikolaus Lauer (see our image nr.7). It shows "Dorothea" (Doris) von Viereck, sister of Henriette von Viereck, the Maid of Honor of Queen Luise of Prussia.
A brief Web research produced the following results:
Our Dorothea (called Doris), Freiin (daughter of a Freiherr (Baron)) was born in 1773 (or 1774) as the daughter of Prussian court cup-bearer, Georg Ulrich Freiherr von Viereck (Vieregg; died on August 12, 1796). In 1793, after the wedding of Prussian Crown Prince Friedrich Wilhelm (1770-1840; from 1797 - King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia) and Princess Luise von Mecklenburg-Strelitz (1776-1810; from 1797 - Queen Luise), Dorothea and her (eight years her senior) sister Henriette (see our image nr.6) became Crown Princess (and later, Queen) Luise's maids of honor (Henriette was the first maid, and Dorothea - the second). Both sisters were selected for these noble positions based on their descent from Mecklenburg aristocratic family.
Sister Henriette was also Luise's closest confidant and the most important person at the latter's court. However, Doris (Luise preferred this name to "Dorothea" and additionally invented a nickname "Dondon" for her - see our image nr.10) was also among the Queen's favorites: for instance, the Queen was known to have at some point searched for a proper match for Doris among her courtiers.
Nevertheless, it appears that, despite the Queen's favorable disposition toward Doris, the latter became her husband's mistress: historians refer to one of the "sisters Viereck" (we are certain that it was Doris, the younger of the two sisters. In 1797, Henriette was four years older than the King, whereas Doris was only 23)…
Unfortunately, we could not find any reliable (!) information about further life of Doris von Viereck on the Web. It is only known that she died in 1866, at the age of 93.
Johann Christian August Schwartz (1756 Hildesheim - 1814 Brunswick) worked in Brunswick (Braunschweig), Dresden, Hamburg, and exhibited at the Berlin Academy in 1800. He was evidently close to Johann Heinrich Schroeder (1757-1812): the attribution of works between them is complicated by the number of pastels signed by Schwartz which are in fact versions of works by Schroeder; many confusions still persist.
Condition: good; in original frame and matting
Creation Year: ca 1805
Measurements:UNFRAMED:47,4x36,1cm/18,7x14,2in FRAMED: 60,0x46,7cm/23,6x18,4in
Object Type:Framed pastel
Style: Old Master drawings
Technique: pastel on vellum (mounted onto stretcher by the artist)
Creator: Johann Christian August Schwartz
Creator Dates: 1756 Hildesheim-1814 Brunswick
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