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Portrait of a Girl, c. 1860

Leopold Museum,
Oil on canvas
40×31 cm


  • Johann Baptist Reiter

    (Linz 1813–1890 Vienna)

Unfortunately not on display at the moment
Johann Baptist Reiter (1813–1890) immortalized a hitherto unidentified young woman in a bust portrait with his oil painting Portrait of a Girl. The work shows her against a dark background, wearing dark clothes, and looking abruptly at the beholder with a calm expression. This makes the overall first impression rather austere. On closer inspection, however, the reflections of light in her eyes and her flushed cheeks give her a more animated look. Shifted from the central axis slightly to the left, her head is irregularly surrounded by a delicate white lacy veil which sets the pale face with the dark-brown curls apart from the dark background. The knot of the veil in front of the girl’s neck, executed with animated brushstrokes, appears unsettled and provides an antithesis to the centrally positioned broach holding the cleavage of her dress together. This combination of reticence and liveliness is characteristic for Reiter’s portraits of girls created around 1860.

Object data

  • Johann Baptist Reiter
Portrait of a Girl
c. 1860
Art movement
Oil on canvas
40×31 cm
Credit line
Leopold Museum, Vienna, Inv. 4899
Inventory access
Contributed to the Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung in 1994
Selection of Reference works
  • Frauenbilder – Künstlerinnen – 19. und 20. Jahrhundert. Vom Biedermeier bis zur Moderne, hrsg. von Elisabeth Leopold, Wien 2017 (Ausstellungsbroschüre, Leopold Museum, Wien, 07.07.2017–18.09.2017).
  • Körper, Gesicht, Seele. Frauenbilder vom 16. bis ins 21. Jahrhundert, hrsg. von Elisabeth Leopold, Wien 2006 (Ausst.-Kat. Leopold Museum, Wien, 09.06.2006-02.10.2006).

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Provenance research
Leopold Museum i
Dr. Rudolf Leopold, Wien (o.D.);
Leopold Museum-Privatstiftung, Wien (1994)

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