Monday, 9 April 2012

Joseph Karl Stieler and Amalie von Schintling

'Amalie von Schintling' (1831) by Joseph Karl Stieler; Nymphenburg Palace, Munich

Lately I only have been doing posts on famous or well-known painters, so I haven't had the chance to discover a new artist. Today I could have done a post on Dante Gabriel Rossetti, the famous Pre-Raphaelite painter, whose date of death was on this day. But I've decided to postpone him till the 12th of May when it's his date of birth. So today I can do a post on an artist unknown to me. His name is Joseph Karl Stieler, born on 1 November 1781 and died on 9 April 1858, and if you google his name and images, you can see why I like his paintings. They're fine portraits and I love portraits, especially female ones. Although I had never heard of Stieler, there is one portrait that is world-famous and male. It is the portrait of Ludwig van Beethoven and it's the most famous representation of the composer. Stieler's most distinguishing feature in doing portraits was his utter focus on the sitter. He didn't pay much attention to the decor as if not to distract the viewer. He was a court painter and is known for his Neoclassical portraits, especially for the Gallery of Beauties in the Nymphenburg Palace, a portrait gallery of 36 portraits of the most beautiful women of nobility and middle classes of Munich. The portraits were commissioned by King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Click here for further reading on the Gallery of Beauties. It was difficult for me to choose one painting for this post because there are so many beautiful ones but by giving you two links to the gallery (I am so cheating!), you can see all 36 paintings. 

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