Antique Oil Paintings
The Officer and His Wife, Pair of Antique Portraits
Oil on Tin. Circa 1850. Austrian antique oil paintings
Monogrammed “TR” (Artist Unknown.)
This beautiful pair of original antique oil paintings depict a uniformed Austrian officer and his bride circa 1850. They are painted on tin, an unusual choice of medium that achieves a great depth and luminescence of color. The brass buttons on the officer’s breast almost glisten, while a beautiful softness is achieved on the blush of the bride’s cheeks.
Furthermore the wealth and rank of the subjects are in full display in these antique oil paintings. in addition the silk bodice and lace of the woman’s dress signifies the elegance of Western European styles. The styles had migrated East towards the fashionable women of Vienna and Prague. Likewise, the officer sits in full military regalia and clutches his sword, showing his pride for, and duty to, the Empire.
Austria in the 19th Century was rife with war, both victories and defeat. During the first half of the 19th Century, the Austrian Empire and its allies, were at war with the brutal French armies. In 1815, however, Austria defeated France during the Hundred Days War. Led by Napolean Bonaparte on his return from exile. This stunning victory led to a period of expansion wars with surrounding countries and Austria became an unstoppable force for a period of about 50 years. It was the third most populated empire, after Russia and France, and the largest and strongest country in the German Confederation. It was ruled by the Hapsburg dynasty, and was a state run by a monarchy. Austria, however, met internal challenge in the 1860’s by Hungary. This eventually led to the dually ruled Austro-Hungarian Empire and the creation of a tension filled dual state.
This gorgeous pair of antique portraits capture a brief time of love, duty and honor during the reign of the great Austrian Empire. The subjects of these antique oil paintings, while deeply involved in a time of war, are still protected by a life of art and leisure. These finely created antique portraits, after-all, were no doubt a great expense for the sitters, and are first and foremost, a celebration of their union. The mirrored poses and matching backgrounds unite the officer and his bride eternally. We can imagine their commitment to one another is matched only by a love and pride towards their nation and their king.