Le Petit Salon honours the works of artist brothers Franz Xaver and Hermann Winterhalter (19th century), who were born in Menzenschwand.
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Franz Xaver Winterhalter (1805 - 1873) was the most famous, most popular, and best paid painter of his time. He visited all the king’s courts in Europe, his paintings documenting the lives of the European aristocracy in its entirety. The work of the two brothers is viewed and preserved as valuable, pan-European cultural heritage.
The name Le Petit Salon commemorates Franz Xaver Winterhalter’s first great work of art which he painted in the “Salon de Paris” in 1837. He won a first-prize medal.
The interior design is characterised by a late- Biedermeier style. It showcases original lithographs, letters which the brothers sent their father in Menzenschwand, drawings, sketches, and much more. The meagre, poor background which the boys came from (their father was a resin worker) is highlighted. Despite their incredible careers, Franz Xaver and Herman Winterhalter always had a bond with the Menzenschwand community, providing it with a lot of help and support. The museum sells souvenirs depicting Winterhalter paintings as well as picture postcards and photo volumes.
The exhibition highlights the favourable position which Franz Xaver Winterhalter enjoyed at the English court, especially with Queen Victoria. Queen Victoria took painting lessons from Franz Xaver Winterhalter. The drawings she did under his guidance are also on display. On special occasions, the queen gave the artist books with a personal dedication. These are showcased, too. Lithographs of Winterhalter‘s paintings complete the exhibition and also highlight the special bond between the queen and the artist.
New: Franz Xaver Winterhalter iPad and iPhone app
The free app (available here) presents the artist’s work as a vivid multimedia experience.
Opening times: Wednesday to Sunday, between 2:30 pm and 5:00 pm.