The Kaunitz Sisters (Leopoldine, Caroline, and Ferdinandine)

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres French
commissioned by Prince Wenzel von Kaunitz-Rietberg Austrian

Not on view

In this rare group portrait, Ingres presents the three daughters of Austria’s ambassador to Rome, Prince Wenzel von Kaunitz-Rietberg. The young women, portrayed at ages thirteen to seventeen, cluster gracefully around the piano. The setting is likely the family music room, where the Kaunitzes often hosted private concerts. Indeed, it may have been Ingres’s passion for music that first won him an invitation to the Kaunitz residence. In this drawing, the artist—already at the height of his powers as a graphic portraitist—delicately described the sisters’ faces, framed in curls and lacy collars. Such details evoke the discreet luxury of Empire fashion and the privileged, cultured world to which these sisters belonged.

The Kaunitz Sisters (Leopoldine, Caroline, and Ferdinandine), Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris), Graphite on laid paper

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