Prince Alois II von Liechtenstein commissioned Friedrich von Amerling to paint his children. The result was a touching series of portraits of Marie Franziska (painted in 1836), Karoline (in 1837), Sophie (in 1838), and, finally, the five-year-old heir to the title, Johann (in 1844/45). The sleepy two-year-old Princess Marie Franziska is, without doubt, the strongest portrait of the series: smiling happily to herself, the sleepy child firmly clutches a doll. The spectator looks at her as if looking down on her from above, and the sunlight falling gently across her hair brings out the colour in her cheeks. Here, too, as in the landscape painting we have considered, it is the artist’s observation of the moment, his record of the smallest details, and his success in capturing the atmosphere established by light that ensure the creation of a work of art out of the depiction of a series of seemingly peripheral details.
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Friedrich von Amerling
Portrait of Princess Marie Franziska von Liechtenstein (1834-1909) at the Age of Two, 1836
Oil on cardboard
height 33 cm, width 27 cm
Signed and dated at lower right: Fr. Amerling 1836
Inv.-No. GE2314
Provenance: acquired in 1927 by Prince Johann II von Liechtenstein from his sister Princess Therese Maria of Bavaria
Further works on display
Portrait of the Sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), 1843
Portrait of Princess Karoline von Liechtenstein (1836-85) at the Age of One and a Half, 1837
Portrait of Princess Sophie von Liechtenstein (1837-99) at the Age of about One and a Hall, 1838
Oil sketch for the Portrait of the Future Prince Johann II von Liechtenstein (1840-1929) on a White Poney, 1844/1845
Portrait of the Future Prince Johann II von Liechtenstein (1840-1929) on a White Pony, 1845
Portrait of the Painter Peter Fendi (1796-1842), 1833
Study of the Head of a Bearded Man
Lost in her Dreams, 1835
Portrait of Elise Kreuzbereger, 1837
Self-portrait, 1880/1881
Girl with Straw Hat, 1835
Portrait of Prince Victor Odescalchi (1833–1880) in Greek costume at the age of five, 1838
Related themes
Biedermeier, Pushkin Museum, Moscow
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