Krafft, Albrecht, oriental scholar and dilettante painter (1816-1847). Ansicht des Gesandtschaftspallastes in Constantinopel.

Probably Constantinople, c. 1840.

Pencil drawing on paper (168 x 252 mm), mounted on tawny backing with inked border, autogr. caption, and signatures. Matted (390 x 312 mm).


A pretty view of the Austrian Embassy Palace in Constantinople (Istanbul). The background shows a mosque and the Bosporus with ships, with a few human figures in the foreground. Signed at the bottom right on the backing paper: "Albrecht Krafft mpr", with the signature of "Joh. von Wörndle mpr" opposite (probably the like-named construction administrator of Vienna's imperial palace, whose sons Edmund and August both were to become important painters trained at the Vienna Academy of Arts).

The Viennese orientalist Krafft was admitted to the famous Oriental Academy at the age of 19; here, he catalogued the library's oriental mss. and studied Armenian and Hebrew. His lasting achievement is considered to be his catalogue of Arabic, Persian, and Turkish mss. at the Academy. However, Albrecht Krafft, son of the Viennese portrait painter Peter Krafft (who had studied with Tischbein and Füger), was also a gifted dilettante painter who had attended the Academy of Arts simultaneously with grammar school, thus obliging his father's wishes before he followed his own inclinations and turned towards oriental scholarship (cf. Wurzbach XIII, 99). "Only the first volume of his projected 10-volume catalogue raisonnée of the Imperial Gallery at the Belvedere Palace was published (in 1837) - an excellent achievement for its time [...] Parthey, in his 'Deutscher Bildersaal', lists three paintings copied by the younger Krafft" (cf. Thieme/B. XXI, 384).

A few edge defects of the backing paper have been professionally restored.

Stock Code: BN#17777 Tags: , , ,