Portrait of Anna Náprstková

Josef Mánes

Josef Mánes - Portrait of Anna Náprstková
Anna Náprstková (1788-1873), patron of many Czech artists, had a good head for business. In 1808 she married Jan Novák, a penniless wine-waiter, who left her a widow after eleven years of marriage and ten children, of whom nine died fairly early. In 1823 she married again - her second husband was Antonín Fingerhut (Náprstek). They bought the house "U Halánků" with a brewery and had two sons, Ferdinand and Vojtěch. In 1862 she founded with son Vojtěch the Czech Industrial Museum (later Náprstek Museum). Contemporaneous literature and the rich correspondence with many representatives of Prague cultural life speak of her as "Habánek's old lady" from Betlémské Square. The first mention of her portrait is in a letter her son Ferdinand wrote in 1846 from Munich to his brother Vojtěch. As Mánes had many other engagements,planned study trips and substantial financial demands, the painting of the portrait was delayed until 1850. From our point of view it certainly was for the better. as in the meantime Mánes's art of portrait painting matured - his portrait of Anna Náprstková more or less started a whole series of exquisite portraits - their salient features are perfect form, plastic modelling, sophisticated colour scheme and, above all, excellent characterization of the model.
measurements: height 87,5 cm
width 65,5 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 12693
gallery collection: Collection of 19th Century Art and Classical Modernism