A Family Affair: Identity Crisis Solved!

September 14 2011, 11:04am

A few weeks ago we posted about an interesting painting whose mystery was slowly being uncovered. We now have another exciting piece of information to share about the family depicted.

We now know that the group within a neoclassical interior almost certainly depicts the apothecary Konrad Göschl and his wife Franziska, possibly with their children. It was painted by the artist Clemens Johann Evangelist della Croce (1782-1824), active in Burghausen, Bavaria in the 19th century. In the present painting, Konrad Göschl is the central figure, depicted handing a document inscribed “Burghausen” to a young man. Konrad was an apothecary in Burghausen, and a senior lieutenant of the Prussian Landwehr who received the royal Prussian order of merit, the highest form of decoration, for his service against the armies of Napoleon in 1814. He also received an additional “Bavarian” award in 1815 for civil service, and wears this medal on his lapel in the present painting. His wife Franziska is seated at the table, knitting. The young girl standing to her left was clearly not painted at the same time as the other figures, or was altered at a later date, as evidenced by her unusual pallor and the fact that her dress covers an original signature on the lower left of the canvas. Figure 1 The director of the Burghausen city archive and municipal museum brought to our attention a pair of recently-acquired portraits of Konrad Göschl and Franziska, also painted by Clemens della Croce painted in 1815 (figure 1), which strongly supports the attribution of the present painting.  In his portrait Konrad is again depicted wearing his civilian service medal.