Lot No. 418 -


Martin van Meytens


(Stockholm 1695–1770 Vienna)
Portrait of the Empress Maria Theresia, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, with the Bohemian and the Archducal crown,
oil on canvas, 150 x 126 cm, framed

We are grateful to Georg Lechner for confirming the attribution of the present painting on the basis of a high-resolution photograph.

So far, only two versions of the present composition have been known, one at the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg (inv. no. ГЭ-5283, oil on canvas, 166.5 x 132 cm) and the other at the Mauritshuis in The Hague (oil on canvas, 162.5 x 132.3 cm). Whereas the painting in Russia must be identified as a work of high quality by the hand of van Meytens, the Mauritshuis version is a somewhat simplified variant, which today is rightly classified as a workshop replica (see B. Broos/A. van Suchtelen, Portraits in the Mauritshuis. 1430–1790, The Hague/Zwolle 2004, p. 291, cat. no. 38). Differences can primarily be made out in the rendering of the backdrop, in the gold embroidery of the dress, and, most obviously, in the number of crowns depicted. The painting in Saint Petersburg shows the Bohemian crown of Saint Wenceslas, the Hungarian crown of Saint Stephen, the archducal hat, and, in the background, what is probably the Imperial Crown of Austria, namely the Crown of Emperor Rudolf II, which deviates more conspicuously from the original. The painting in The Hague shows Maria Theresia with three crowns as queen of Hungary and Bohemia, while in the present work they have been limited to the archducal hat and the crown of Saint Wenceslas. This distinct feature suggests that the work was probably made for a patron or recipient living in Bohemia.

Both the Saint Petersburg painting and the picture in The Hague have come with pendants in the form of portraits of Maria Theresia’s husband, Emperor Franz I Stephan. In both cases he is shown wearing the golden Spanish court dress and holding the sceptre, with the Imperial crown depicted on the table next to him. This establishes 1745, the year in which he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor, as terminus post quem. In all these pictures Maria Theresia and Franz I Stephan look considerably younger than in other versions, so that it must be assumed that the paintings were executed between 1745 and 1750.

Whereas the pair in The Hague seems to go back to the collection of William IV of Orange (see Broos/van Suchtelen 2004, op. cit., p. 291, cat nos. 37 and 38), the paintings in Saint Petersburg entered the Hermitage from the now-reconstructed castle of Carskaja Slavyanka. For the present portrait of Maria Theresia it must therefore be assumed that it also comes from noble origins. It seems likely that the present painting likewise had a companion piece depicting Franz I Stephan. Matching the paintings in Russia and the Netherlands, it might also have shown him in Spanish court dress and wearing a hat decorated with blue feathers.

In the present case such details as the lace, the embroidery of the dress, the coiffure, the soft modelling of the face, and the position of the hands are of superb quality and combine to form a harmonious whole. There is thus good reason to identify Martin van Meytens as author of the present painting.

Specialist: Dr. Alexander Strasoldo Dr. Alexander Strasoldo
+43-1-515 60-556

alexander.strasoldo@dorotheum.at

30.04.2019 - 17:00

Realized price: **
EUR 217,066.-
Estimate:
EUR 25,000.- to EUR 30,000.-

Martin van Meytens


(Stockholm 1695–1770 Vienna)
Portrait of the Empress Maria Theresia, Queen of Hungary and Bohemia, with the Bohemian and the Archducal crown,
oil on canvas, 150 x 126 cm, framed

We are grateful to Georg Lechner for confirming the attribution of the present painting on the basis of a high-resolution photograph.

So far, only two versions of the present composition have been known, one at the Hermitage in Saint Petersburg (inv. no. ГЭ-5283, oil on canvas, 166.5 x 132 cm) and the other at the Mauritshuis in The Hague (oil on canvas, 162.5 x 132.3 cm). Whereas the painting in Russia must be identified as a work of high quality by the hand of van Meytens, the Mauritshuis version is a somewhat simplified variant, which today is rightly classified as a workshop replica (see B. Broos/A. van Suchtelen, Portraits in the Mauritshuis. 1430–1790, The Hague/Zwolle 2004, p. 291, cat. no. 38). Differences can primarily be made out in the rendering of the backdrop, in the gold embroidery of the dress, and, most obviously, in the number of crowns depicted. The painting in Saint Petersburg shows the Bohemian crown of Saint Wenceslas, the Hungarian crown of Saint Stephen, the archducal hat, and, in the background, what is probably the Imperial Crown of Austria, namely the Crown of Emperor Rudolf II, which deviates more conspicuously from the original. The painting in The Hague shows Maria Theresia with three crowns as queen of Hungary and Bohemia, while in the present work they have been limited to the archducal hat and the crown of Saint Wenceslas. This distinct feature suggests that the work was probably made for a patron or recipient living in Bohemia.

Both the Saint Petersburg painting and the picture in The Hague have come with pendants in the form of portraits of Maria Theresia’s husband, Emperor Franz I Stephan. In both cases he is shown wearing the golden Spanish court dress and holding the sceptre, with the Imperial crown depicted on the table next to him. This establishes 1745, the year in which he was crowned Holy Roman Emperor, as terminus post quem. In all these pictures Maria Theresia and Franz I Stephan look considerably younger than in other versions, so that it must be assumed that the paintings were executed between 1745 and 1750.

Whereas the pair in The Hague seems to go back to the collection of William IV of Orange (see Broos/van Suchtelen 2004, op. cit., p. 291, cat nos. 37 and 38), the paintings in Saint Petersburg entered the Hermitage from the now-reconstructed castle of Carskaja Slavyanka. For the present portrait of Maria Theresia it must therefore be assumed that it also comes from noble origins. It seems likely that the present painting likewise had a companion piece depicting Franz I Stephan. Matching the paintings in Russia and the Netherlands, it might also have shown him in Spanish court dress and wearing a hat decorated with blue feathers.

In the present case such details as the lace, the embroidery of the dress, the coiffure, the soft modelling of the face, and the position of the hands are of superb quality and combine to form a harmonious whole. There is thus good reason to identify Martin van Meytens as author of the present painting.

Specialist: Dr. Alexander Strasoldo Dr. Alexander Strasoldo
+43-1-515 60-556

alexander.strasoldo@dorotheum.at


Buyers hotline Mon.-Fri.: 9.00am - 6.00pm
old.masters@dorotheum.at

+43 1 515 60 403
Auction: Old Master Paintings
Date: 30.04.2019 - 17:00
Location: Vienna | Palais Dorotheum
Exhibition: 20.04. - 30.04.2019


** Purchase price incl. charges and taxes

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