(Vienna 1817 - Karlsruhe 1897)
Portrait of Mathilde de Barral de Monteauvrard, née Fleury Lacoste (1836-1888)
Charcoal, chalk and oval pastel
H. 52 cm; L. 45 cm (Frame height: 96 cm)
Signed and dated on the left 1863
Mathilde Fleury Lacoste was born in 1836 in Chambéry, to a family originally from Lyon but whose father grew up in Savoy. This father, Jean Fleury Lacoste is a regional figure in the political, associative and scholarly fields. He will also leave behind a manuscript retracing many events in his life and his marriage to Coralie Berlioz. Mathilde Fleury Lacoste married Camille-Jules de Barral de Monteauvrard in 1856, a diplomat who would have a successful career with the King of Sardinia in various European capitals. In 1860, the couple opted for Italian nationality, but currently lived in Savoy at the castle of Barral that the count had built in the town of Bissy (currently a park in the city of Chambéry). In 1866, a few years after our portrait was painted, M. de Barral was stationed in Berlin where many letters were exchanged with Otto von Bismarck.
The couple had five children between 1857 and 1870, from which a large number of descendants came, still bearing the name of Barrals, but also of Mougins de Roquefort, Leusse de Syon, Bisson de la Roque, d'Oultremont de Wégimont, d ' Oncieu de Chaffardon, etc… Mathilde de Barral de Monteauvrard died in 1888, 8 years after her husband who was 19 years her eldest.
As for the painter Anton Hähnisch, he made portraits between Austria, Germany and England. The vast majority of his works are of a technique similar to our sheet. He also exhibited his works in London at the Royal Academy, every year between 1851 and 1869. Our drawing, very close to the technical characteristics of the Winterhalter brothers, was made in 1863, certainly made in Berlin where Hähnisch settled until the end of his life. This portrait was framed in Frankfurt (as evidenced by a label on the back) and most certainly followed the couple to their various diplomatic residences.
It should be specified that Jean-Paul Guerlain, famous perfumer, married a Barral de Monteauvrard, descendant of Mathilde Fleury Lacoste.