Allegory of the Marriage of the Grand Dauphin Louis of France and Princess Maria Anna of Bavaria
Gouache on vellum, mounted on wood.. 20 x 27 cm (oval).
Joseph Werner was a well travelled artist from Bern, whose successful career led him to many European courts, including Versailles, where he worked from 1662 to 1666. After that he settled in Augsburg, and travelled from there to Munich, Vienna, Stuttgart, Mannheim and Innsbruck in order to carry out commissions. His fame is based not so much on his oil paintings, but rather on his gouache miniatures, many of which can be found in the famous miniature cabinet of the Munich Residenz.
The marriage of the Bavarian Princess to the Dauphin of France, eldest son of Louis XIV., was an event of immense European significance, although young Louis died before his father and never came into power. In the present work he is shown on an easel painting which is being painted by his wife, whose hand of course is guided by Cupid. Maria Anna was the eldest child of the Bavarian Elector Ferdinand Maria, and thereby also sister to Elector Prince Max Emmanuel. A famous double portrait in Versailles by Pierre Mignard from 1687 shows the couple together with their sons. The allegorical character of this work indicates that it was carried out prior to the wedding, but after the marriage had been made official, meaning it can be dated to 1679.
Ludwig Meyer, Munich 22.3.2001.