Countess Kitty Schönborn 1916

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Full body larger-than-life portrait in rich room interior (illustrated by a golden brocade curtain, a painting in golden frame and an antique dresser). The portrayed is standing at the dresser, her right arm propped on it. She wears a black taffeta dress with V-neck, trimmed with white silk and a sheer black silk scarf. Her jewelry includes a floor-length pearl necklace, a pearl ring and pearl ear clips. At her feet a standing greyhound (Borzoi dog).

Oil on canvas 215 x 128.5 cm
Signature: John Quincy Ɑdams 1916
Belvedere Vienna Inv.No. 6069


Kitty Schönborn / Baronin Rothschild - Belvedere Wien

Kitty Countess Schönborn (1885-1946). Born Katherine Wolff, Philadelphia, USA; 1st marriage (1904-1911) to Dandridge Spotswood (1872-1939); 2nd marriage (1911-1924) to Erwin Count Schönborn-Buchheim (1871-1937), 3rd marriage (1924-1946) to Baron Eugène de Rothschild (1884-1975); died 1946 in Locust Valley, Nassau, New York, USA (also buried there). The picture designation follows the original at the time of the 1st exhibition (1917) as Countess Kitty Schönborn (current designation in the Belvedere collection as Kitty Baroness Rothschild).

Icon of Adam's glamorous portrait style and in this surpassing a corresponding portrait by Philip de László. Representation, (larger than life) picture format, and attributes (floor-length pearl necklace, greyhound, short hair) follow the staging of the masterful photo portraits of Dora Kallmus from 1913 and reflect the beauty and particular attraction of the depicted and her dazzling biography (US girl marries her way into highest aristrocracy and money). Thus, already during the First World War, the canon of self-portrayal of society ladies of the 1920s was established.

What is remarkable about the provenance history of the painting is that during the war and despite the plundering and racial persecution of all the Rothschilds, it was forwarded to the couple Eugène and Kitty Rothschild from Vienna to Paris and taken by them into exile in the USA. After Kitty Rothschild's early death, the painting remained with Eugène Rothschild and was dedicated by him in his will to the Belvedere in 1975.

Exhibited

1917 Künstlerhaus Wien exhibition John Quincy Adams No. 29

1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog No. 39

Literature

Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #39 (with color ill.).

APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 156, cat.#124, fig.#87.

Provenance

Sitter.
Kitty and Eugène de Rothschild, Vienna, Paris, New York, Monte Carlo.
1975 dedication to the Belvedere Vienna Inv. no. 6069

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