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Permanent Collection


Wilhelm Ternite

(Neustrelitz, 1786 – Potsdam, 1871)

Prussian Queen Louise in Dragoon Uniform
(1838), oil, canvas, 76 x 76 cm
signed and dated lower left: W(?) T. r.. it. / 1837(?)

NG S 2128, National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana
A young lady with the cap called a krakoska*, with the Polish eagle in the middle, is sitting in front of the wall of a terrace. She is dressed in a coat whose lapels are embroidered in the Polish national colours (red and white, i.e. silver). In the background we see people strolling in a park.

The signature W(?). has not yet been securely deciphered and identified. The date is also difficult to read and thus still uncertain. The costume would suggest a time between the second and third decade of the 19th century. Stylistically this picture is close to the work of Giuseppe Tominz/Jožef Tominc (Gorizia 1790 – Gradišče above Prvačina 1866).

* Wladimierz Godlewski of Warsaw was kind enough to draw our attention to the name of the cap.

Preservation: Good, however the layer of paint near the signature melted at some time in the past due to heat or fire.
Restored: 1989, Kemal Selmanović.
Provenance: Unknown. After World War II in Brdo Castle near Kranj; entrusted to the Narodna galerija by the Government of Slovenia in 1986.

Biedermeier and Romanticism
Heavily censored public life between the Congress of Vienna and the Spring of Nations in 1848, weakened Church patronage, and the ascending middle class marked the era when life focused on the privacy of the family circle, individual dignity and the sense of belonging; this is expressed in the Central European art as the style of Biedermeier which coexisted with a Romantic view of nature. 

Portraiture was the genre of painting that saw its heyday in this era. Matevž Langus, Jožef Tominc, Mihael Stroj and Anton Karinger established themselves as individually formed portraitists who demonstrated their self-confidence as artists also through their self-portraits. The painters initially relied on formal characteristics of Neoclassicism. Stroj’s late portraits and particularly those by Karinger abandoned the Biedermeier manner and adopted a more realistic approach. 

Interest in landscape first appeared as the background of portraits; towards the mid-century first autonomous city vedute emerged. The Biedermaier landscape is idyllic, descriptive, and furnished with staffage figures. Painters were attracted by tourist destinations and locations that were related to homeland identity: Mt. Triglav, Lake Bohinj, Bled. Anton Karinger and Marko Pernhart established themselves as explicit landscapists. The latter became famous for his multi-part panoramas from mountain peaks. 

Still lifes became an attractive decoration of a middle-class home, and they also found favour with amateur women painters, one of whom was Countess Maria Auersperg Attems.