Art. Nr.: 2
Benoit H. Molin (1810-1894)
"Maria Adelaida, First Wife of Victor Emanuel II", 1848
Condition: good, lined.
Creation Year: 1848
Measurements:UNFRAMED:130,0x98,0cm/51,2x38,6in FRAMED: 147,0x115,5cm/57,9x45,5in
Object Type:Framed oil painting
Style: Biedermeier Paintings
Technique: oil on canvas
Inscription:signed and dated: B.Molin 1848
Portrait of Maria Adelaida von Habsburg, Archduchess of Austria, Queen of Sardinia-Piemont, first wife of Victor Emanuel II. She was born in 1822 in Milan as a daugther of Archduke of Austria and Vice-King of Lombardo-Venezia Rainer Josef and Princess Elisabeth of Savoya-Carignan. On 12 April 1842 she married her cousin Victor Emanuel II (back then Crown Prince, later King of Sardinia-Piemont and from 1861 King of Italy). Their marriage brought five children. She died in Turin in 1855 and was burried in the Turiner "La Superga".
On our portrait, dated 1848, she is 26 years old and already mother of five children. She stands on the terrace of her palais with a wonderful evening landscape in background. Seven years after the portrait's creation she would die. Her husband Victor Emanuell II would then lead a morganatic marriage with the sopranist Rosa Teresa Vercellana Guirrieri ("La Rosina" or "La bella Rosina"). Our additional image shows a lithographic portrait of Maria Adelaida at the age of 16.
The author of this wonderful portrait, Benoit Hermogaste Molin (1810 Chambery, Savoya - 1894 ibidem) began his artistic career in his native town under David's pupil Moureau. In 1830 he went to Paris, entered L'Ecole des Beaux Arts and became a pupil of the famous Baron Gros. He began exhibiting in 1833, in the Parisian Salon and showed his works there regularly until 1847. After 1847 he moved to Turin, back then Capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia and soon became a royal portraitist. He painted King Charles-Albert, his son Victor Emanuel and various members of the royal family. He died in 1894 in his native Chambery as a very known painter, professor and conservator of the local Fine Arts Museum.
Provenance: Viennese noble private collection; Vienna Dorotheum, 24. February 1998, Lot 84. (ca)