Talk | Eugene Barilo von Reisberg: ‘Franz Xaver Winterhalter: Portraiture in the Age of Social Mobility’ | Melbourne University


Franz Xaver Winterhalter: Portrait of Queen Victoria (1843, detail, collection of HM Queen Elizabeth II); Portrait of Princess Tatiana Yusopova (1858m detail, St Petersburg: The State Hermitage); Portrait of Mrs Philip Vanderbyl (1866, detail, private collection).

Eugene Barilo von Reisberg (Art History Program, School of Culture & Communication), PhD Completion Seminar: ‘Franz Xaver Winterhalter: Portraiture in the Age of Social Mobility’.

For nearly four decades, from the early 1830s to the early 1870s, Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805-1873) was among the most popular and highly sought-after, internationally-renowned elite portrait specialists, who enjoyed the patronage of royal, aristocratic and middle-class elites. This seminar will demonstrate that the artist’s success and popularity among the highest echelons of society were contingent upon his mimetic abilities, the rigorous application of his academic training, as well as the bold innovations of his technical approaches that placed him hors concours among fellow portrait practitioners of the era. Further, by using evidence from the biographies of Winterhalter’s sitters, the seminar will reassess his works as visual documents whose iconographic narratives: encapsulate the status and social mobility of his sitters; illustrate the artist’s ability to understand, capture, and reflect the changing face of the nineteenth-century society; and imbue his portraits with universal and aspirational ideals that crossed the barriers of class, nationality, and time.

Date: Wednesday  16 December 2015, 6:00pm

Venue: University of Melbourne (Parkville), Baillieu Library, Dulcie Hollyock Room.

Melbourne Portrait Group website