Property Restituted to the Heirs of Louise Lea Abelmann, Vienna
FRIEDRICH VON AMERLING
Andreas Amerling in a Top Hat
oil on canvas
51.5 by 41cm., 20 by 16in.
The canvas is lined and is securely attached to a keyed wooden stretcher.
There are scattered networks of fine lines of drying craquelure, only visible upon close inspection. These are entirely stable and are attributable to the natural drying processes of the artist's materials.
There is a circa 20cm horizontal line of fine craquelure running across the sitter's upper body, circa 10cm from the lower edge, and a circa 5cm fine diagonal line in the background to the left of his face. These could be attributed to old restoration.
Inspection under ultraviolet light shows a heavy layer of varnish which prevents the ultraviolet light from fully penetrating. However, scattered strokes of retouching are visible throughout. Due to the opaque varnish layers it is difficult to ascertain the extent of any previous restoration.
Overall, this work presents well.
Presented in a decorative gilt frame, glazed.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Estate of the artist (sale: Dorotheum, Vienna, 3-6 May 1916, lot 33)
Theodor Abelmann, Vienna (possibly acquired at the above sale)
Louise Lea Abelmann (née Steinsberg), Vienna (widow of the above, by April 1937)
Acquired from the above by the Deutsches Reich for the Sonderauftrag Linz (after 1938, inv. no. 493)
Recovered at Altaussee, Austria by the Allies and transferred to the Munich Central Collecting Point on 15 October 1945 (inv. no. 9584)
Transferred to the office of the Ministärpresident from the Munich Central Collecting Point
on 10 June 1949
Landesmuseum Hannover (on loan from the Federal Republic of Germany, 1966-2019)
Restituted by the Federal Republic of Germany to the heirs of Louise Lea Abelmann in 2019
Günther Probszt, Friedrich von Amerling - der Altmeister der Wiener Porträtmalerei, Zurich, Leipzig, Vienna, 1927, p. 138, no. 733
Painted in 1848, this dashing portrait of the artist's brother epitomises Amerling's Biedermeier style, while also showing the influence of Sir Thomas Lawrence, the great British society portraitist whom Amerling met in London in 1827 and whose work he admired for the rest of his career.