|Princess Elizabeth Esperovna Belosselsky Belosenky Princess Troubetskoi
|Franz Xavier Winterhalter
|108 x 147 cm (3' 6.52" x 4' 9.87")
Franz was a court-painter of Louis-Philippe and he always depicted the royal personalities in his paintings. The princess is holding a hand-fan in one hand. Hand-fan is not a product of Japan only. In fact, hand fans were normal even in the times of ancient Greece.
Suspiciously, princesses are either always extremely beautiful or extremely ugly in our stories. We don’t know why anyone doesn’t depict at least one princess as a regular looking person. The oil-on-canvas painting of 1859 describes the first scenario – a perfectly beautiful princess. Well, this is not a fictitious person. But she has a beauty of any fictitious princess. Her eyes are big, lips are thin and face is just faultless. And the particular angle the painter has portrayed her just raises our curiosity about her grace. The portraiture seems more like a photo. As if the princess was walking down the stairs and someone just came and snapped a photo.
This kind of realism needs a high level of skill, which is proved here. Now we can understand why the king Philippe chose Franz Xavier for more than thirty commissions.