Portrait of Countess Maria Czapska
Author: Jozef Hintz Andrzej
Material / technique: paper, pastel.
Dimensions: 28.7x24.4 cm.
Signature: Hintz. f. 1835 (in the bottom-right corner of the painting, vertically).
The portraits of Countess Fabiana Czapska and her daughter Maria are from the portraits of Count Czapski’s family that were painted in 1835 in Vilnius by Andreas Hintz (or Hintze), an artist of Prussian descent. He also painted a portrait of Count Karol Janusz Czapski, the head of the family, who died in 1836.
Pastel portraits were very fashionable in the 18th century, during the time of the Enlightenment and the Rococo style. The popularity of pastel is associated with French art, although the technique was brought to Paris by the Venetian portraitist Rosalba Carriera. Its rough surfaces and soft textures are very suitable for drawing idealised images of people, reflecting objects and the forms of nature faithfully, and remind us today of coloured photographs. The delicately coloured compositions were in perfect harmony with the sunlit rooms of the hôtels particuliers of the time. The use of pastels was also encouraged by the invention in the 18th century of a production technique that made it possible to make large panes of glass to protect vulnerable surfaces against damage. The relatively low price of pastels, and the possibility of catching a model’s features in a few sittings at home, made them attractive to the middle classes. This popular technique spread in the mid-18th century from the centre of Europe to the peripheries, where it competed with oil painting, and was exceedingly popular until photography emerged in the middle of the 19th century.
Reference: "More Than Just Beauty. The Image of Woman in the LAWIN collection." Compiled by G. Jankevičiūtė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2012, Kat. No. 3, P. 25.
Exhibitions: “More Than Just Beauty: The Image of Woman in the LAWIN collection”, 12 October – 11 November 2012, National Gallery of Art; Vilnius Exhibition of the Fine Arts Collection of Edmundas Armoška "Outcrops of Lithuanian Art 16th–21th Centuries" 2008 July 3 - August 31, Lithuanian Art Museum, Vilnius.
Published: "More Than Just Beauty. The Image of Woman in the LAWIN collection." Compiled by G. Jankevičiūtė. Vilnius, LAWIN, 2012, Kat. No. 3, P. 25; "Outcrops of Lithuanian Art 16th–21th Centuries", Vilnius Exhibition of the Fine Arts Collection of Edmundas Armoška, Vilnius: Lithuanian Art Museum, 2008 Kat. No. II, 26, P. 93; "Collection. Lithuanian Collectors' Association magazine". Vilnius, No. 3, 1996, P. 20; RES PUBLICA" The art collection of the law firm Ellex Valiunas. Compiler R. Jononienė. Vilnius, 2018, Cat. No. 34, P. 218.
Photograph: display in the exhibition “More Than Just Beauty: The Image of Woman in the LAWIN collection”, 12 October – 11 November 2012, National Gallery of Art.