II Johann Heinrich Tischbein

Conradin of Swabia and Friedrich of Baden Awaiting Sentence

Conradin of Swabia and Friedrich of Baden Awaiting Sentence
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: II Johann Heinrich Tischbein
History Painting, Painting, Oil on canvas, 65.5x91.5 cm
Origin: Germany, 1785

At the basis of this painting lies a poem by Johann Jakob Bodmer, ?Konradin Herzog von Schwaben?, or ?Conradin, Duke of Swabia?. Conradin was the last male representative of the house of Hohenstaufen, and after defeat in battle near Tagliacozzo he was taken prisoner by Charles of Anjou and beheaded in Naples in 1268, together with his childhood friend Friedrich of Baden.

Tischbein lived in Italy for many years and in this painting he chose to borrow from the Classical heritage which he saw all around him in his depiction of an event from medieval history. The features of Conradin's face recall the famous sculpture known as the ?Apollo Belvedere?, while the judge reading the sentence reveals a likeness to a portrait of the Roman Emperor Vitellius. Except for the main heroes, the figures all wear Classical attire. The author sought to bring this Classical scheme to life through the introduction of genre details.

The work is a smaller replica of a painting in the Museum in Gothe, Germany. This replica, produced by the author himself, was commissioned for Catherine II by the writer and dramatist Denis Fonvizin.

Style: Neo-Classicism
Theme: History

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