A Girl in historic Costume
  • Friedrich August von Kaulbach
  • Munich 1850 - 1920 Ohlstadt
  • A Girl in historic Costume, circa 1885
  • Coloured chalks, on board,
  • signed with black chalk lower left: FA Kaulbach
  • 697 × 450 mm
Gallery Eduard Schulte, Berlin (around 1900)
sale with Karl & Faber, Munich, May 1976, lot 395
private collection northern Germany
F. A. v. Kaulbach – Auswahl von 30 Werken des Künstlers,
Munich 1890, ill. plate 21
Klaus Zimmermanns: Friedrich August von Kaulbach –
Monographie und Werkverzeichnis (catalogue raisonné),

Munich 1980, no. 474

In 1871, Friedrich August Kaulbach had already finished his education and settled as an independent painter in Munich. Artistic talent appears to have run in his family, as both his father Friedrich (1822-1903) and uncle Wilhelm (1805-1874) were well-known portraitists and history painters. In 1873-74, Kaulbach studied the art of the Renaissance in Italy, and the work of the Venetian painters was to exert a particular influence on his own production throughout his life. In 1886, Kaulbach was chosen to succeed Karl von Piloty as the director of the academy and was ennobled by the prince regent.

Kaulbach soon became the most coveted portraitist of the German aristocracy and the haute bourgeoisie; his work was famous for its perfection and elegance. In accord with the taste for historicism and his own admiration for the Italian Renaissance, Kaulbach readily made stylistic borrowings from that period in his work. The largely female sitters of his portraits wear sumptuous historical garments in front of ideal classical landscapes, as is the case with the young woman depicted here in the guise of a Venetian.