Boy portrait Breycha-Vauthier 1910
Full-length portrait en face of a standing 7-year-old boy looking kindly at the viewer. He wears tight black pants, black patent leather shoes, and a black fitted skirt whose collar and sleeves are decorated with white wavy pleated overlays. To his right, sitting on a stone bench, is a white and black Russell Terrier dog. In the background park landscape.
Oil on canvas 138 x 72 cm
Signature: not recognizable.
Private collection Austria.
Arthur Breycha-Vauthier de Baillamont, 1.7.1903 Vienna to 15.2.1986 Gut Langg, Feldkirchen, Carinthia.
Son of the ministerial official Arthur B-V and Graziella B-V, née Segantin, he grew up in Vienna. During 1921-26 studied law and received his doctorate. From 1928-46 staff member and later head of the library of the League of Nations (forerunner of the UN) in Geneva. 1964-68 Austrian ambassador in Beirut. 1968-75 and 1976-1977 director of the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna. In addition to his activities as librarian and ambassador, Ambassador Breycha-Vauthier was also a recognized art expert with extensive knowledge of the work of John Quincy Adams. In addition to his portrait of a child, he also owned an Adams portrait of a woman (undocumented), which may have depicted his mother Graziella B-V. As ambassador to Beirut, he also identified two Adams portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Homsi that hung in their family residence in Haleb (Aleppo) in Syria (now lost and probably destroyed in the civil war). His written private estate went to the Provincial Archives of Carinthia, but there his writings were ungratefully largely destroyed, especially with regard to his extensive collection of art-historical material.
The Breycha-Vauthier boy portrait derives its special charm from the intimate, friendly atmosphere Adams has captured, which was probably also facilitated by the presence of the family dog. The recurring black and white contrasts (clothing, dog, background, unfortunately only incompletely captured in the imperfect picture documentation) gives the image a special artistic appeal. The boy's clothing, reminiscent of medieval squires' robes, corresponds to the fashionable ideas of the turn of the century, in which in terms of clothing and hairstyle a distinction between the sexes of the children often did not take place, which despite the (from today's point of view) fashion-related strangeness, was a thoroughly modern approach to education. Already during his lifetime, Ambassador Breycha left his child portrait on loan to Baron Heinz Kriegs-Au in Vienna (correspondence B-V with the Society of Friends of Fine Arts Vienna of October 28, 1985), where it remained after his death in 1986. Unfortunately, the Kriegs-Au family was not willing to provide a color image for this catalog to honor the memory of Ambassador Breycha-Vauthier. The color documentation of the picture (B/W from the Künstlerhausarchiv Vienna) was therefore only possible approximately with the help of a poor-quality private color photo from the 1986 exhibition and only in parts.
B/W Photo of the portrait Künstlerhaus Archiv Wien
Entry Arthur Breycha-Vauthier Historical Dictionary of Switzerland
1986 Academy Schillerplatz Vienna 1986, Viennese Society in Portrait, Catalog No. 23.
Schaffer/Eisenburger 1986, exhibition catalog #23 (no ill.).
APH, catalog raisonné JQA 1995, p. 99, cat.#67, fig.#49.
Before 1985 loan to Baron Heinz Kriegs-Au Vienna, where it remained ever after the death of the sitter.
Private collection Austria.