Portrait of Wiencyzyslawa Barczewksa
Franz Xaver Winterhalter

Franz Xaver Winterhalter

1805 - 1873

A German painter and lithographer known for his portraits of royalty. Trained in Freiburg im Breisgau and Munich, Germany, he entered court circles in 1828 when he became drawing master to Sophie, later grand duchess of Baden, at Karlsruhe. After 1834, he went to Paris and quickly became fashionable under the protection of King Louis-Philippe and later at the court of Napoleon III. He was first summoned to the English court by Queen Victoria in 1841. During his career, he painted most of Europe's royalty and leading aristocracy. Winterhalter's works, which became widely known through copies and reproductions, are valued for the picture they give of aristocratic Europe in the nineteenth century.

Text © National Portrait Gallery, London