Portrait of Prince August Ludwig von Anhalt-Köthen: representative palace portrait.

Joachim Martin Falbe.

Portrait of Prince August Ludwig von Anhalt-Köthen: representative palace portrait.

(1709 Berlin - 1782 ibid) attr.; Portrait of Prince August Ludwig von Anhalt-Köthen. The representative, courtly portrait shows the prince as a kneeling figure, due to its form it may have once been incorporated into the wall paneling of a castle or palace. August Ludwig von Anhalt-Köthen (1697 - 1755) became the self-ruling prince in 1728 after the death of his older brother Leopold. Such a promotion required appropriate portraits, including the present one. Joachim Martin Falbe was probably commissioned for this task. He completed his thorough artistic training in 1733 under Antoine Pesne in Berlin, where he remained for a total of 15 years. Pesne and Falbe, who became an honorary member of the Berlin Royal Prussian Academy of Arts in 1756, had a mutual and high appreciation. When the prince was looking for a skilled portrait painter, Pesne recommended the talented Falbe, appointing him as the prince's court painter in 1739 before his return to Berlin. This portrait, presumably created in the same year, shows the prince standing in a grandly ornate manner in front of a balustrade, with a massive column on the left side. To the right, the view opens up to a mountainous landscape. The prince has placed his red ermine mantle on his right shoulder, while on his back he proudly displays the Polish Order of the White Eagle as a star, and over his other shoulder he wears the blue ribbon of the Danish Order of the Elephant. Around his neck, he also wears the Russian Order of Alexander Nevsky. The outstretched right forearm, with the pointing hand and the blue ribbon, forms a composition-defining diagonal, while the left hand rests on a helmet. A series of portraits of the prince, which were long attributed to Pesne (Bercquenhausen Wvz - No. 16 a-e), but are likely to be by Falbe and also date from 1739, are comparable. A slightly varied version of the present painting appeared as the official portrait in a copper engraving by Johann Christoph Sysang (1703 - 1757) in Samuel Lenz's work "Historisch-Genealogische Fürstellung des Hochfürstlichen Hauses Anhalt (...)", Köthen and Dessau 1757. Comparable representations also include a bust portrait in the Köthen Castle (Red Room), as well as another copper engraving by Sysang. Oil on canvas, relined; with segmental arch-shaped top, now 163 cm x 104 cm; originally 148 cm x 104 cm. In need of restoration. Accompanied by an expertise from Professor Dr. Helmut Börsch-Supan, Berlin, 2 August 2015. Attributed to Johann Martin Falbe (1709 - 1782).

09 May 2024

2 890 200,00



Author Joachim Martin Falbe.

Style Portrait

Lot location Moscow ( 77 )

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