Outstanding miniature on ivory depicts a noble child sitting in a highchair and playing with toys. As a toy is represented a figure of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph on horseback. This fact confirms that probably this child is one of the granddaughters of Franz Josef and Sisi (Elizabeth or Auguste of Bavaria) or a child
from an Austrian aristocratic family, close to the Royal house.
The author of our miniature was one of the best Austrian miniature painters of 19 century Richard Schwager (1822-1880), who recieved his glory for virtuose miniatures of Austrian Royal house and aristocraty.
Richard Schwager (1822 Duppau, Bohemia - 1880 Rodaun by Vienna) was a very well-known Austrian portrait miniature painter. From 1847 he was a pupil of Johann Nepomuk Ender and Leopold Kupelwieser at the Vienna Academy and made various trips to Germany, France, Belgium, England and Russia, where he received comissions of high esteem. He was one of the last miniaturists from the circle of Moritz Michael Daffinger and received the nickname "Miniature-Amerling" (Friedrich von Amerling was the best Viennese portraitist of the 19th century) for his virtuoso art of painting. From 1861 he was a member of the Vienna "Kuenstlerhaus".
Literature: Thieme/Becker "Allgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler von der Antike bis zur Gegenwart"; Prof.H.Fuchs "Austrian Painters ", Vienna, 1975; Vollmer II, 1955, 548; ThB XVIII, 1925, 583 s
Inscription: signed "Schwager" on the left lower edge.
Technique: gouache on ivory. Original period blue velvet frame with gilt bronze tie.
Measurements: unframed w 4 3/8 " x h 3 1/2 " (7,5 x 9 cm); framed w 7 1/8 " x h 6 1/4" (12,7 x 15 cm)
Condition: fairly good, a slightly crack in left area (see photo).