J. Richard Schwager, 123 x 100 mm, dated May 1878
A very fine and rare miniature on ivory - former property of a noble family; a gift from Duke Miguel II of Braganza, oldest son of King Michael I of Portugal and claimant to the throne of Portugal, to a member of his staff
Watercolour on ivory, under glass and in a folding frame. Portrait of a girl about four years old, with straight blond hair and blue eyes. She is turned to the right and looks at the observer. The girl wears a white lace dress and brown shoes; she sits with her legs folded, on a red silk cushion which has been placed on a small rock between a tree and a rosebush. The girl holds a garland of red roses. In the background is a hilly landscape. Signed bottom left "R. Schwager", dated "Meran, in May 1878".
Provenance: in private property since 1919
Because of the history of this miniature and of later photographs, one can assume that it is a portrait of Princess Marie Therese of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, later the Duquesa de Braganza. She was born on January 4, 1870 in Rome and married her cousin Duke Miguel II of Braganza, claimant to the throne of Portugal, on November 8, 1893 at Castle Kleinheubach; her husband bequeathed the miniature to a member of his staff in 1919.
Even though photography was already available in 1878 when this painting was created, the client put great value on a traditional representation of his child, one that befitted her rank. This painting is an ideal example of RichardSchwager’s art; his precise brushwork that reproduces the finest details so very realistically is in perfect harmony with the romanticised world of the 19th century.
Miguel II., Duke of Braganza (1853-1927)
He was the Miguelist claimant to the throne of Portugal from 1866 to 1920. He used the title Duke of Braganza. Miguel was born during the exile in Germany of his father, former King Miguel I of Portugal. His mother was Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg. By the Portuguese law of banishment of 1834 and the constitution of 1838 Miguel was forbidden to enter Portugal. Therefore, he lived in Kloster Bronnbach and since 1917 at Seebenstein castle near Vienna, where Miguel II. died in 1927.
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miguel,_Duke_of_Braganza, as of 10/09/2014.
J. Richard Schwager (1822-1880)
Richard Schwager was a very well-known Austrian portrait miniature painter. While working as a pharmacist he started to study arts in 1847 at the Academy of Viena. His teachers were Johann Nepomuk Ender and Leopold Kupelwieser. 1851 Richard Schwager became a member of the Viena Art House. He was an excellent portrait-paiter, who specialised in miniature portraits. Voyages through Germany, France, Belgium, England and Russia made him well-known in Europe and offered him paiting jobs both with the nobility and the wealthy middle classes. He joined the artists group around Moritz Michael Daffinger, and his miniatures were so well executed people called him the "Miniature-Amerling" in his lifetime.
Case: very good