Lot 106
  • 106

After Franz Krüger

30,000 - 50,000 GBP
Log in to view results
bidding is closed


  • Franz Krüger
  • Portrait of Prince Petr Khristianovich Wittgenstein (1769-1843)
  • oil on canvas
  • 156 by 110cm, 61 1/2 by 43 1/4 in.


Structural Condition The canvas is unlined on what would appear to be the artist's original keyed wooden stretcher which is ensuring a sound structural support although there is slight creasing particularly in the upper right corner which could be resolved by merely tightening the wedges. Paint Surface The artist's original dark green glazes of the sitter's trousers in particular and, to a lesser extent, his jacket have a very pronounced craquelure pattern which is as a result of the drying processes of the artist's materials. The artist must have used certain glazes which shrank as they dried, leaving the pattern of drying craquelure which reveals the pale ground layers. The affect of the craquelure could be significantly reduced by merely revarnishing, which would revive much of the depth of the artist's pigments but one would still be left with many fine lines where the pale ground layers are revealed. These could, if required, be greatly reduced with fine lines of inpainting. The painting should respond very well to cleaning as the varnish layers are so dull and discoloured and there is a considerable amount of surface dust and dirt. Summary The painting is therefore in stable condition and all the condition issues relate to the artist's materials rather than any later damage. The painting would respond very well to the work briefly outlined above.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

The ‘Saviour of St Petersburg’, Prince Petr Khristianovich Wittgenstein (1769-1843) was a highly distinguished Russian Field Marshall and a hero of the Napoleonic war. In capturing the French supply depot at Vitebsk and breaking Napoleon’s ‘Dvina Line’ on the northern front, Wittgenstein inflicted a devastating blow Napoleon's fast collapsing Russian operation after the battle of Polotsk and saved St Petersburg from invasion. He was awarded the Order of St George by Alexander I.  When Marshall Kutuzov fell ill and died in 1813, Wittgenstein briefly took command of the Russian army. In 1834 the King of Prussia gave him the title of Fürst zu Sayn-Wittgenstein.

Franz Kruger's full length portrait of Prince Petr Khristianovich Wittgenstein dating from the 1840s hangs in the 1812 gallery of The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. 

The sword of Prince Petr Khristianovich Wittgenstein mounted in three colours of gold with Vienna gold marks for 1803 will be sold at Thomas Del Mar Ltd, in association with Sotheby’s, on 5 December 2012.