Friedrich Amerling / The Young Eastern Woman / 1838Friedrich Amerling
The Young Eastern Woman

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Creator Name: Amerling, Friedrich
Creator Nationality: European; Central European; Austrian
Creator Role: Artist
Creator Dates/Places: 1803 - 1887
Biography: Friedrich Amerling grew up in a poor working-class milieu and started his career illuminating maps and prints before attending the Vienna academy from 1815 until 1824. The following two years he studied at the academy in Prague, until his sojourn in London from 1827 through 1828. Amerling went to London primarily to meet the portraitist Thomas Lawrence (1769-1830), whose fame had spread throughout Europe and whose work, together with that of Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792), would form an important influence on Amerling's art. After a brief stay in Paris, during which Amerling met Vernet (q.v.), he went on to Rome. Back in Vienna he painted the life-size portrait of Emperor Franz I (1832/33, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna), which, despite its mixed reviews, estab-lished his reputation as the foremost portrait painter in Vienna. From then on he received many portrait commissions from the Viennese aristocracy and bourgeoisie (see Waldmüller, Countess Széchenyi, fig. 223b). In 1833 Amerling traveled to the Netherlands and, upon his return, visited the artistic centers of Munich and Düsseldorf, where he met the influential academy director Friedrich Wilhelm von Schadow (1788-1862). Amerling's career reached its height from the 1830s through the 1850s. In the early 1840s he traveled to Rome where he worked with Leopold Pollak (1806-1880) and August Riedel (1799-1883), who influenced his work with their depictions of Italian beauties. Besides painting formal portraits, Amerling developed a painting category that remained close to portraiture but crossed over to a slightly sentimental type of genre or character painting, mostly depicting single women in coquettish poses. Although Amerling retained a certain popularity throughout his long career-he was knighted in 1879-he failed to adapt to changing artistic developments and was eventually overshadowed by artists such as Hans Makart (1840-1884).
Gender: M
Creator Birth Place: Vienna, 14 April 1803
Creator Death Place: Vienna, 14 January 1887
Creator Name-CRT: Friedrich Amerling
Title: The Young Eastern Woman
Title Type: Primary
Title: Die junge Morgenländerin
Title Type: Foreign
View: Full View
Creation Start Date: 1838
Creation End Date: 1838
Creation Date: 1838
Object Type: Paintings
Classification Term: Painting
Materials and Techniques: oil on fabric
Dimensions: Unframed: 88.5cm x 71.5cm
AMICA Contributor: The Cleveland Museum of Art
Owner Location: Cleveland, Ohio, USA
ID Number: 1991.163
Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund
Provenance: Painted in 1838 for Mathias Feldmüller (the younger), wood merchant, Vienna, for 80 ducats. Sold around 1852 to Jakob Fellner, Vienna. His collection sale, Vienna, P. Kaeser, 14-15 December 1871 (lot 9), Die Morgenländerin, 88 x 70 cm, sold for ?800 to Löscher, a Viennese dealer (according to annotated sales catalogue in the Netherlands Institute for Art History, The Hague). Baron Franz Wertheimer, Vienna, by 1927. His heirs, United States. Bought by Galerie Sanct Lucas, Vienna, in 1991. Purchased by the cma in 1991.

Although the artist provocatively titled this painting "Young Eastern Woman," it is obvious that the model is not Asian but merely wears Turkish dress. The costume and glowing light certainly create an exotic atmoshphere, and the woman's pose with an open book echoes traditional representations of ancient sibyls or fortune-tellers. Much of 19th century art shows a fascination with the Near East. The combination of the sensually exotic with an atmosphere of quiet contemplation in this work is a less-familiar aspect of the Vienna Biedermeier period (1815-1848).

AMICA ID: CMA_.1991.163
AMICA Library Year: 1998
Media Metadata Rights: Copyright, The Cleveland Museum of Art

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