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Hermann Winterhalter

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Biography of Hermann Winterhalter

Hermann Winterhalter was the young brother of the famous portrait painter Franz Xaver Winterhalter at the court of Bade. Encouraged by his father to follow the steps of his elder, he first studied engraving with his uncle before working at the lithographic institute of Karl Von Piloty in Munich in 1833. At the same time, he started studying painting. In order to improve in this subject, the young artist started travelling. He discovered Italian masters in Rome and liked to study Italian portraits of the 18th century.

In 1837, he joined his elder brother in Paris where he settled for many years. The two brothers were very close and Hermann took charge of Franz Xaver’s Parisian studio during his travels abroad, which considerably helped him in his international career. Their works and personalities were so close that it was difficult to dissociate some of their paintings.

Hermann Winterhalter took inspiration from his brother who was the portraitist of all European royalty. There was not any professional or personal competition between the two artists who worked together for many years and even exhibited together at the Salon of French Artists from 1838 to 1869. 

In the 1850s, Hermann became more independent from the themes of his brother and started painting his own portraits. Among his more emblematic paintings, "Young Girl from Ariccia" and the portrait of his Parisian master Nicolas-Louis Planat de la Faye, now at the Louvre Museum.

At the end of the Second Empire in 1870, the brothers left France and settled in Baden. Franz Xaver died three years after and Hermann continued to paint. He still received many commissions but did not participate in any exhibition.

Hermann Winterhalter
1808-1891

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