Winterhalter (b. 1805 Menzenschwand, Germany, d. 1875 Frankfurt
am Main, Germany), was a German painter. He was born in a
small village in Germany's Black Forest, Franz Xaver Winterhalter
left his home to study painting at the academy in Munich. Before
becoming court painter to Louis-Philippe, the king of France, he
joined a circle of French artists in Rome. In 1835, after he
painted the German Grand Duke and Duchess of Baden, Winterhalter's
international career as a court portrait painter was launched.
Although he never received high praise for his work in his native
Germany, the royal families of England, France, and Belgium all
commissioned him to paint portraits. His monumental canvases
established a substantial popular reputation, and lithographic
copies of the portraits helped to spread his fame.
portraits were prized for their subtle intimacy, but his popularity
among patrons came from his ability to create the image his sitters
wished or needed to project to their subjects. He was able to
capture the moral and political climate of each court, adapting his
style to each client until it seemed as if his paintings acted as
press releases, issued by a master of public relations.