DRAWING-ROOM INTERIOR IN THE PALACE IN STUTTGART, WURTTEMBURG, Ludwig Holthausen

DRAWING-ROOM INTERIOR IN THE PALACE IN STUTTGART, WURTTEMBURG, Ludwig Holthausen

c. 1807 to c. 1890 United Kingdom

Offered by Charles Plante Fine Arts

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This superbly detailed interior watercolour depicts a drawing-room in the Stuttgart Palace of the King Wilhelm I of Wurttemburg. This is most probably the former private sitting room of the former Princess Royal of Great Britain, Princess Charlotte, daughter of George III. The portrait appears to be that of her pre-deceased husband, the King. The complete lack of any other personal momentos and the inclusion of the busts under the glass protective domes, together with a preserved wreath are clear indications of the age of the previous occupant, and the remaining objects left upon the large Etagere suggest their retention for formal rather than personal reasons This is strengthened by the remaining oak chair, apparently of seventeenth-century English origin.

The room has a light architectural framework of delicate moulded tracery around the frieze and the centre pendant light fitting. The Biedermeier and French Directoire styles are suggested by the furniture and light window curtains, although the close-fitted carpet is both later and in fact more extensive than was usual, indicating the affluence of the owner. A fat upholstered sofa under the portrait is an indication that the room was in use as late as the date on the painting. This may well be the room later used by the Duchess of Teck, mother of Princess May (later HM Queen Mary) and vividly described in the various accounts of their visit in 1892. The throne of Wurttemburg was a sore point with both Queen Victoria and the Duke and Duchess of Teck, for it involved a highly complicated line of succession that had led to a Catholic incumbent, something deprecated intensely by the Queen. This was felt even more intensely by the Duke and Duchess, who considered the throne rightfully theirs. During the visit in 1892, the Duchess was annoyed by the muslin curtains hung over her writing table, as seen here, for when her necessary table lamp was lit they and the room caught fire, subsequently consuming the table and almost the adjoining family suites. Strangely, all of the photographs of Prince Eddy, Princess May's intended husband, were burnt. Typically, the Duchess blamed the stupidity of the curtain arrangement and the Duke rejoiced that the unfashionable Empire rooms were so damaged that something new and fashionable had to be built. They were soon moved to a small summer villa outside Stuttgart.
Edgar DeN Mayhew
Charles Plante, 'History in Houses: The Deshon-Allyn House' (The Edgar DeN Mayhew collection), The Magazine Antiques, October 1986, pp768-73 G
Ulrich Grobmann, Mein Blauer Salon: Zimmerbilder der Biedermeierzeit, Nurnberg, 1995 James Pope-Hennessey, Queen Mary. London, 1959
Dimensions
Height 229.00 mm (9.02 inches)
Width 292.00 mm (11.50 inches)
Medium
Watercolour
Signed/Inscribed
Signed:L Holthausen
Charles Plante Fine Arts

Charles Plante Fine Arts
50 Gloucester Street
London
SW1V 4EH

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