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Heinrich Friedrich Fueger "Maria Theresa of Naples-Sicily", SENSATIONAL FIND!!, 1790/92
Price: 50000 EUR
(please note additional Austrian VAT (Value Added Tax) applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)
Acquired from a private collection in Vienna, Austria, this large (14.8 x 13.5cm) miniature on ivory turned out to be a sensational find!
This work was executed (according to sitter's dress and hairstyle) in the early 1790s (or - to be more precise - between 1790 and 1792 (see our comparison image nr.31)). Exceedingly qualitative and large (its size signifies the importance of the commission) miniature shows a young lady before a Romantic park landscape while inscribing on a marble stele: "MEIN NICHT /MARIA /TH...", what (together with already drawn by her flower!) makes "Vergissmeinnicht" - German titlle of the flower forget-me-not (word-play: "vergiss mein nicht" is in old German "vergiss mich nicht" (English: "don't forget me").
This young woman is nobody else as the Archduchess Maria Theresa (1772-1807; see our images nr.16-17), daughter of King Ferdinand IV of Naples-Sicily and his consort, Archduchess Maria Carolina of Austria. She married her husband, Archduke Franz Joseph Karl (1786-1835; from 1792 Kaiser Franz II of Holy Roman Empire) on 15th September 1790, in Vienna, and this miniature seems to be executed shortly afterwards.
Moreover, it is an absolutely authentic masterpiece of Vienna court portraitist (and miniaturist!), famous Neoclassical artist Heinrich Friedrich Fueger. Several years before this portrait's execution, on April 27, 1788, Fueger painted a (similar in size (14.6 x 10.9cm) and composition - see our image nr.18) miniature portrait of Maria Theresa's foregoer, 1st wife of Archduke Franz Joseph Carl, Princess Elisabeth Wilhelmine of Wuerttemberg (the latter died on February 18, 1790 or seven months before 18-year-old Marie Theresa arrived to Vienna to marry the widowed Archduke).
There are no doubts that the depicted young lady here is indeed Maria Theresa of Naples-Sicily (for comparison, see our images nr.9-15 and our web #34171).
Comparison with other miniatures of Fueger (see our images nr.20-30) also leaves no doubt that he was the author of the outstanding painting, which is presented here.
Heinrich Friedrich Fueger (1751 Heilbronn - 1818 Vienna) was a German-Austrian neoclassical artist born in Heilbronn, Germany in 1751. He began autodidactically with miniature portraits and as a young boy was shortly trained by the artist Guibal in Ludwigsburg. However he returned to Heilbronn to study law in 1768 and during his university studies continued painting portrait miniatures. His interest in painting grew and he dedicated himself to studying art as pupil of Oeser in Leipzig. He exhibited succesfully at the Dresdner Academy and moved to Dresden, where he worked until the year 1774 then moving to Vienna. He soon enjoyed the interest of the Imperial House and other influential sponsors in Vienna and traveled to Rome on a scolarship in 1776 studying the classical works, Raffael, Annibal Caracci and Domenichino. Among his contemporaries the artists Mengs, Trippel and David had a strong influence on his works. He returned to Vienna in 1783 to be appointed the Vice-director of the Vienna Academy in the same year and Director of the Academy in 1795. From 1806 he was also Director of the Imperial Picture Gallery. He was a very popular portrait and historical painter, a respected master of his time.
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See also some miniatures by Heinrich Friedrich Fueger offered in the last years at the international art auction market.
Literature: probably mentioned in standard source about Fueger's miniatures - Ferdinand Laban's "Heinrich Friedrich Füger, der Porträtminiaturist", Berlin 1905, p.71, Cat. No. 105-117/34 (see our image nr.19).
Vienna writer, Baroness Blanche Kübeck zu Kübau (1873-1935; see our image nr.32)
Vienna auction house "Kende", April 8-11, 1935, Lot 224 (see our image nr.33)
We are very grateful to our friend, world's best specialist in portrait miniatures Dr. Bodo Hofstetter for his generous help
Condition: good, in magnificent, 19th-century ormolu frame in Neoclassical style
Creation Year: 1790/92
Measurements:UNFRAMED:14,8x13,5cm/5,8x5,3in FRAMED: 21,6x15,2cm/8,5x6,0in
Object Type:Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Creator: Heinrich Friedrich Fueger
Creator Dates: 1751 Heilbronn-1818 Vienna
Nationality:German / Austrian
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