Reserved - 19th-Century German School Portrait Of A Lady With A Book

Reserved - 19th-Century German School Portrait Of A Lady With A Book

A beautiful mid-19th-century portrait of a demure young lady dressed in a dark purple, almost black, bell-shaped dress. She’s holding a book in her right hand and resting her left arm on a table.

Alongside her is a partially made garment, some knitting needles and wool together with a small open box. Knitting was clearly close to her heart as she’s chosen to include it in her portrait, which is a little unusual.

In the 1840s, bell-shaped skirts became ever larger throughout the decade and they were worn with pinched in waists to give the wearer an hourglass figure. And as you see here, hair was usually smoothed down and combed into a centre parting.

We understand that the sitter is Bertha Walter.

The portrait is housed within a period gilded frame with swept corners.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 16½” x 18½” / 40cm x 47cm
Year of creation: 1845
Provenance: Germany
Condition: Craquelure throughout but the paint layer seems stable. Frame with some losses, repairs and touch ups.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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