Heinrich Maria von Hess
Marchesa Marianna Florenzi, 1824
Öl auf Leinwand, 194,8 x 140,4 cm
1824 durch Kronprinz Ludwig vom Künstler erworben
Inv. Nr. WAF 345
Marchesa Marianna Florenzi
The portrait of the Marquise Marianna Florenzi, wife of the Marquis Ettore Florenzi, which was commissioned in 1824 by Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria who enjoyed a close relationship to the beautiful and intelligent woman. Having met in 1821, the Crown Prince and the Marquise enjoyed a close friendship, documented in a sizeable correspondence.
The nearly life-size portrait of the Marquise shows her sitting in a garden. She¿s turning slightly to the right, her legs crossed and her hands, holding a few flowers, are resting in her lap. Her head, slightly tilted back, and her lively, direct glance suggest self-confidence rather than arrogance. She is surrounded by the architecture of the loggia, which also serves as a frame. The ionic columns, which were primarily used in ancient temples devoted to goddesses, are here used as a mark of distinction to further define the importance of the sitter. In the background is a fountain, and behind that, cleverly revealed through carefully trimmed hedges, a view of St. Peter's.
Several of the attributive elements surrounding the Marquise, for example the vase with a flowering plant, are reminiscent of medieval material symbolism, which the Nazarenes sought to revive. They, too, express the high regard that Ludwig held for the Marquise.