"She was beautiful as a dream, a child of southern countries, All those who have seen her admire her beauty igniting fire in the hearts of men and envy in the eyes of women"
Sofia Potocka, or Countesse Sophie Potecka as she became known, is a very famous woman in history. Born in 1760 in Turkey, a Greek slave courtesan, she moved upward through society, a stint as a Russian agent, and later a Polish Noblewoman. Famous throughout Europe for her beauty and her adventurous life style. You see her image repeated often like this, though this one is one of the most beautifully accomplished "après" painting miniature I've ever seen of her. This is an early 1800s hand painted portrait miniature, after the original painting of her: Portrait of Countess Sophie (Zofia) Potocka (1760-1822). Very nicely done and in larger than usual format, she was very popular among Grand Tour tourists. A pastel of this painting's original is in collection of Philadelphia Museum of Art, and I saw her there. That one was done in 1872, Robert Reyher, German, 1838 - 1877. After a late 18th-century pastel by an Artist/maker unknown. Pastel possibly by Louise-Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun, French, 1755 - 1842. Pastel formerly attributed to Anton Graff, Swiss, 1736 - 1813. Pastel formerly attributed to Alexander Kucharsky, Polish, 1741 - 1819. Pastel formerly attributed to Salvator Tonci, Italian, 1756 - 1844. Published by E. H. Schroeder, German, active mid- 19th century. Printed by Otto Felsing, Berlin.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type, (c.1810-50), a painting in gouache on thin wafer, typical of the genre. The painting is a large 4" x 3" oval, and frame is 6 1/4" x 5 3/8" x 1/2". Cover glass is flat, and she really has no flaws to note. There is not a signature, but of all the paintings done "après" this original c.1700s portrait, this is the finest I've seen.
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