A Portrait by Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein Restituted, Returns to Dresden

Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein (1788-1868)
Portrait of the Countess Thekla Ludolf, 1816
Oil on Canvas - 70 x 48.5 cm
Dresde, Staatliche Kunstsammlungen
(Galerie Neue Meister)
Photo : Sotheby’s

19/1/12 - Restitution and acquisition - Dresden, Galerie Neue Meister - The Portrait of the Countess Thekla Ludolf by Carl Christian Vogel von Vogelstein (ill.), also known as Young Woman with Drawing Board, had become one of his most popular works since its acquisition in 1940 by the Gemäldegalerie in Dresden.

However, after extensive research in German and Austrian archives, the Commission for Looted Art in Europe found that this painting was part of the collection belonging to the three Rosauers sisters in the 1930’s, and was confiscated by the Nazis in 1938. Malvina died in Vienna in 1940 while Jenny and Bertha disappeared after having been interned at Treblinka two years later.
The museums in Dresden (Staatlichen Kunstsammlungen Dresden) thus restituted the canvas to their heirs last year. Subsequently, they were able to buy it back at Sotheby’s, on 18 May 2011, for 79,250 pounds, including charges. The painting is now a permanent addition to the collection at the Galerie Neue Meister, located in the Albertinum.

Carl Vogel von Vogelstein first studied under his father, Christian Lebrecht Vogel, then attended the Dresden Academy. After a four-year stay in Saint Petersburg, he traveled to Prague and Vienna before continuing on to Italy and settling in Rome between 1813 and 1820. He was in contact notably with the Nazarenes there and painted portraits of Overbeck and Cornelius.
This beautiful portrait of a woman was painted in 1816. The model can be seen, seated in an armchair, posing in front of a window through which one glimpses the bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius in the distance. A comparison with Ingres’ Portrait of Caroline Murat instantly comes to mind when looking at the work, produced at approximately the same time and with a similar composition also showing Mount Vesuvius in the background, although Princess Murat is standing, instead of sitting.

Version française

Didier Rykner, lundi 23 janvier 2012

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