Francois Xavier Winterhalter

Portrait of Sofia Naryshkina

Portrait of Sofia Naryshkina
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Author: Francois Xavier Winterhalter
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 150x114 cm
Origin: France, 1858

Franz Winterhalter, despite his German birth, achieved his greatest fame in France, where he became one of the most fashionable painters of royalty, the aristocracy and society. Here his sitter was Sofia Petrovna Naryshkina , wife of the Russian Chamberlain Konstantin Pavlovich Naryshkin. The figure is placed to accentuate the smooth line of the naked shoulder, while the natural but elegant gesture of the sleek arms and the sharp contrast of dark burgundy and lemon-yellow in Naryshkina's attire give her a grandiose elegance. Winterhalter is here seen to be not only skilled at posing his sitters to create almost theatrical compositions, but also as a virtuoso in the art of conveying the texture of fabrics, furs and jewellery, to which he pays no less attention than to the face.

Personage: The Naryshkin family
Style: Salon Art
Source of entry: Provenance: 1920
Theme: History

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