Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Henriette Sontag (1806–1854)

Franz Napoleon Heigel (German, 1813–1888)
ca. 1835
Oval, 2 7/8 x 2 3/8 in. (73 x 60 mm)
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. Thomas Hunt, 1941
Accession Number:
Not on view
Franz Napoleon Heigel, the son of Josef Heigel (The Met, 42.53.3), was born in Paris. After studying with his father and at the Munich Academy, he became the pupil of Jean Urbain Guérin (The Met, 61.77, 62.122.87) in Paris and exhibited at the Salon from 1833 to 1835. He settled in Munich about 1846 and became painter to Ludwig I (1786–1868; reigned 1825–48) and his grandson Ludwig II (1845–1886; reigned 1864–86), kings of Bavaria. He died in Munich.

The German-born soprano Henriette Sontag (1806–1854) was, as Mlle Sontag, a renowned opera singer. She made her debut in Vienna in 1822 and in 1823 created the title role in Weber's Euryanthe. In the late 1820s she secretly married Count Rossi, the Sardinian ambassador to the Dutch court. She performed in Europe and America and died in Mexico City while on tour. This miniature may date about 1835.

[2016; adapted from Reynolds and Baetjer 1996]
Inscription: Signed (left edge, in black): F[r] Heigel
Mrs. Thomas Hunt (until 1941)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1996–January 5, 1997, no. 212.

Graham Reynolds with the assistance of Katharine Baetjer. European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, p. 168, no. 212, ill. p. 169, state that it may date about 1835, and note that the inscription was formerly read as "Fr. Heigel 18[ ]5".

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