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Count Ludwig von Lebzeltern from the Middleton Watercolor Album

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Count Ludwig von Lebzeltern from the Middleton Watercolor Album

Made by: Matthews, A. __after

Currently in storage


About this object

Born in Lisbon to Baron Adam von Lebzeltern, the Austrian chargé d’affaires at the Portuguese royal court, Count Ludwig von Lebzeltern (1774-1854) was groomed for diplomatic service from an early age. He initially worked at the Austrian embassy in the capital before serving as secretary to the ambassador in Madrid in 1798. Shortly thereafter he was transferred to Rome, where he remained for five years. In 1809 Ludwig became acquainted with the politician and statesman, Klemens von Metternich. Metternich not only assigned him special missions in Italy and Switzerland, but also charged him with maintaining relations with Russia, a role which grew in importance after Napoleon I’s defeat. Undoubtedly due to his diplomatic acumen, he was designated Minister to St. Petersburg in 1816. Ludwig moved easily through St. Petersburg society, befriending foreigners like the Middletons as well as Russia’s native elite. In 1823 he married Zinaida de Laval, a Russian heiress who also appears—along with their child—in the Middleton Album (52.39.22). It was in fact his connection to Decembrist leader Prince Sergei Troubetzkoy (his brother-in-law) that led to his recall in 1826. After Ludwig’s departure from Russia, he was named Ambassador to Naples. He held this position until his retirement in 1844. Ludwig died in that city in 1854.

The oval bust-length portrait portrays Count Ludwig von Lebzeltern with his body facing slightly right and his face eyes turned to the left, against a background of grey clouds. He wears a black coat and waistcoat over a white shirt with a white cravat. A highly decorated official, he is depicted wearing the Prussian Order of the Red Eagle, the Russian Order of St. Vladimir, the Order of St. Ferdinand of the Two Sicilies, the Austrian Order of the Iron Crown, the Austrian Order of St. Stephen, and the Gold Civil Merit Cross.

Category:
PAINTINGS
Object name:
Count Ludwig von Lebzeltern from the Middleton Watercolor Album
Made from:
Watercolor on paper
Date made:
1822-1826

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
52.39.21
Signature marks:
Inscription __Comte de Lebzeltern __Bottom of page __In cursive
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004