From the early 1830s to approximately 1850 Amerling was Vienna’s most celebrated portraitist. A likeness, almost identical to this portrait and entitled Modest Susanna, was executed in 1837. The portrait represents an example of one of Amerling’s favourite compositional schemata to position the bare-backed sitter, turned away from the beholder.
Paintings in Residenzgalerie Salzburg
In this unfinished self-portrait the artist depicted himself in profile from the left and with a serious and attentive look. He dispensed with any attributes of his art, such as brush or easel, and did not adopt an artificial pose, contenting himself with a clearly circumscribed partial view.
This oil sketch is a study for a ceiling fresco in the ceremonial hall of the Neuwartenburg palace near Timelkam/Vocklabruck. The palace was built between 1730-32 by the architect Anton Erhard Martinelli (c. 1684—1747) in honour of Emperor Charles VI, who visited Vocklabruck to go hawking.