Portrait of Bismarck
Department of Art after 1800
|Medium, technique||oil on canvas|
78 x 58 cm (30 11/16 x 22 13/16 in.)
|Collection||Department of Art after 1800|
|On view||Hungarian National Gallery Building D, First Floor, From Delacroix to Vasarely – Highlights from the Collection of International Art after 1800, Baroque Hall|
Camille Corot is known primarily for his harmonious and delicate landscapes. However, in the last two decades of his life he also painted many figural works. He often portrayed his female models dressed in Italian or Oriental clothing in life-size, half-length images. These paintings constitute a certain transition between portraits examining the sitter’s individual features, personality, and state of mind, and head studies depicting a more idealised, general character.
His young beautiful models are most often shown in a natural or studio environment, but the brownish, dark background of the Budapest work remains indefinite. The hand movement of the round-faced model adjusting her hair, and her questioning look turning to the viewer provide the sensation of a moment seized. The unfinished, sketch-like painting gives insight into the artist’s working method: Corot first sketched the dark background and then rendered the lighter tones. Visible modifications show that Corot was uncertain about positioning the arms. The work’s title was given after the flowers decorating the woman’s hair.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.