Portrait of Heinrike Dannecker

Gottlieb Schick1802

Alte Nationalgalerie, National Museums in Berlin

Alte Nationalgalerie, National Museums in Berlin

Heinrike Dannecker, the wife of the Stuttgart court sculptor Dannecker, is seated parallel to the picture plane with an expansive landscape in the background. The broad sweep of the sitter’s shape sets her apart from the infinitely vast, pale-blue cosmos. She turns towards the viewer in a wholly natural manner, and with her head raised, it is as though she welcomes this interruption in her thoughtful contemplation of nature and is inviting the intruder to share her pleasure. The flowers in her hand establish a link with nature. Yet this does not conceal the programmatic reference to contemporary events, with a clear allusion to the French tricolor in the colours of her clothes. Thus transient gesture, contemporary history, and the timelessness of the cosmos and nature come together and complement each other.

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