Gisela Edlinger 1908

Full-length portrait of a standing young lady in a slightly side view, her head slightly tilted and turned towards the viewer. She wears a floor-length black chiffon dress with a wide neckline and over her shoulders a light gray fur coat with light blue silk lining, which she holds onto her left shoulder with her left hand and lets it swing forward holding it with her right hand at waist level. The sitter is wearing a single row short pearl necklace, pearl ear clips, and a pearl ring. A small pearl necklace is braided into her brown hair like a diadem. In the background of the picture, an antique massive chest of drawers, a landscape wall tapestry, and a partially gold-framed painting are visible.

JQAW# P_1908_050
Oil on canvas 215 x 135 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams 1908
Unknown private collection.
Image: Auktionshaus Geble, Germany.

(Likely) Gisela Franziska Edlinger, married Schürer von Waldheim, 1880 Vienna to 1926 Vienna.

This portrait, dated 1908 according to the auction house, was unknown in the Adams literature until its auction on July 2, 2011. Described at the auction as a "portrait of a standing young woman, probably a lady of Viennese society", there were no provenance or other clues that would allow the sitter to be identified. The picture from the auction later posted on Wikimedia Commons was accompanied by an anonymous English comment: "this is Amalia Edlinger from Vienna", an attribution for which, however, no source or documentation was provided. Research among the descendants of the Edlinger family has revealed that the painting likely depicts Gisela Edlinger and was commissioned on the occasion of her marriage to Friedrich Andreas Schürer von Waldheim in 1908. In the Edlinger family tradition, however, the portrait is known as Amalie ("Aunt Maltschi"), which is likely a confusion with the 1912 portrait of Gisela's sister Amalie Schrantz, née Edlinger (see cross-references).

Gisela Edlinger was the daughter of the textile industrialist Ferdinand Edlinger (1844-1932) and Amalia/Amalie E. (1849-1928), née Wech, widowed Garber. The history of the Edlinger textile industrialist family, whose factory and home were located in Vienna's Kaisermühlen district, spans around two centuries. The textile company existed until 1986 and is known as the pioneer of the hypochlorite process (artificial bleaching of textiles) and the invention of artificial leather.
No detailed information is available about Gisela's life. In contrast to her parents or her sister Amalie, who are often mentioned in press reports and society news, there are no reports about her in the contemporary press. Gisela was one of 7 children of Ferdinand and Amalie Edlinger (4 sons and 3 daughters). The parents were great supporters of the construction of the Herz Jesu Basilica in Vienna Kaisermühlen (Ferdinand E. was on the board of the basilica's building association and the couple donated several stained glass windows and paintings, including one depicting Amalia Edlinger receiving communion. The couple also donated a stained glass window in the Maria Hilf church in Vienna VI). It can therefore be assumed that Gisela enjoyed a Catholic upbringing and led a rather secluded life. In 1908, Gisela married the state railroad official Dr. Friedrich Andreas Schürer von Waldheim (1874-1944), who came from an old European noble family with branches in Bohemia, Sweden and Austria, who are known above all as glass industrialists, as well as in Austria as doctors, pharmacists and civil servants. Gisela died in Vienna at the age of 46 (funeral on October 2, 1926) and is buried in the Schürer family crypt at Vienna Central Cemetery.

The present portrait is typical of Adams in the period before the First World War. The desire for representation of the aspiring upper middle classes is reflected in the clothing and jewelry of the portrait subjects, as well as the feudal interior (staged in Adam's studio at Theresianumgasse 5) and the larger-than-life format. However, the depiction remains "bourgeois" in comparison to Adam's later more glamorously staged portraits of ladies. Only the sweep of the coat, which the sitter is about to remove, lends the portrait an interesting dynamic. 1908 marked Adams' breakthrough as a portrait painter: his portrait of the patron of the arts Johann II Prince Liechtenstein, which was commissioned by the City of Vienna, attracted great public attention and recognition.




1908 to ca. 1970? The sitter and her parental family, Vienna.
1970? to 2011 unknown.
2.7.2011 Auction Auktionshaus Geble, Germany.
Unknown private collection.