Author: Jozef Hintz Andrzej
Signature: Hintz. f. 1835 (in the bottom-right corner of the painting).
Karol Józef Czapski (1786-1852) was a count and marshal of the Minsk County noblemen and a member of the educational commission of the GDL. The portraits of Madam Fabjana Czapska, her daughter Maria and husband Karol Józef Czapski belong to the group of portraits of the Czapski family of counts painted in 1935 in Vilnius by Andreas Hintz (or Hintzes), an artist of Prussian origin. The artist painted the portraits of the countess, a young countess her daughter, and the head of the family Count Karol Józef Czapski who died in 1836. It is likely that Hintz painted other members of the family too, e.g. the youngest son of Katrol and Fabjana, Emeryk Hutten-Czapski, who was a known collector and numismatist.
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, P. 24.
Karol Józef Czapski (1778–1836) was a Lithuanian nobleman, a former chamberlain to the court of Stanisław Poniatowski, and the father of the famous coin collector Emeryk Hutten-Czapski. A graduate of the Piarist school in Vilnius, Czapski devoted much attention to education. Between 1793 and 1797 he was a member of the Education Commission of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, and was honorary curator of the Slutsk district. He was remembered by his contemporaries as honest, noble and kind, an imaginative and carefree wit, whose funny stories and improvisations livened up even the most serious gatherings, prompting other people to tell humorous stories about him. His portrait was painted by ANDRZEJ HINTZ (mentioned before 1842), a graduate of the Drawing and Painting Department at Vilnius University, and a popular itinerant portraitist of Prussian descent. In the same year, Hintz produced pastel portraits of the count’s wife Fabijana Czapska (1787–1876), and their daughter Maria Czapska (1818–1897). These portraits convey the likeness and fashionable details of the individuals, but also reflect a slight mood of sadness. The reason for this may have been that they had already succumbed to illness. Karol Józef Czapski died less than a year after his portrait was painted. In 1839, his daughter Maria entered the convent of the Salesian sisters in Vilnius.
Reference: "RES PUBLICA" The art collection of the law firm Ellex Valiunas. Compiler R. Jononienė. Vilnius, 2018, P. 122.
Exhibitions: Exhibition on the 250th anniversary of the painter "Jonas Rustemas – painter and teacher“, 30 October 2012- 17 February 2013, Vilniaus Picture Gallery, 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: Catalogue of Exhibition on the 250th anniversary of the painter "Jonas Rustemas – painter and teacher“, 30 October 2012- 17 February 2013, hold in Vilniaus Picture Gallery. Vilnius: Lithuanian Art Museum, 2013. Kat. Nr. VIII. 32, P. 178; "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, 25, P. 93; "Collection. Lithuanian Collectors' Association magazine". Vilnius, No. 3, 1996, P. 19; "RES PUBLICA" The art collection of the law firm Ellex Valiunas. Compiler R. Jononienė. Vilnius, 2018, P. 123, Cat. No. 32, P. 219.