Firemen’s barracks, Bordeaux
Department of Art after 1800
Von Kaulbach painted the portrait of Munkácsy’s wife, Cécile Papier (1845-1915) in 1886. According to contemporary sources, the painting was hung in a prominent place in the salon of the Munkácsy mansion in Paris. The work ended up in the Museum of Fine Arts from the widow’s inheritance in 1917. Cécile was an important emotional and artistic support to her husband: she paved the way for him and helped to move his career upward. Accordingly, the painting portrays her as an assertive and determined woman. Von Kaulbach skilfully merges the realistic portrayal of the model with virtuoso depiction of her elegant black low-cut dress and fur.
This record is subject to revision due to ongoing research.