Clemente Alberi - Portrait of Franz von Weber, Officer in the Papal Service
Portrait of Franz von Weber, Officer in the Papal Service
Oil on canvas. 112.5 x 87 cm.
Signed and dated lower left: Cle = Alberi. F. Bologna. 1837.
Inscribed to the back of the canvas: “Franz von Weber Oberst in päpstlichen Diensten / 1800-1870 / gemalt von Alberii / Bologna 1842 [sic!]”
Alberi was active in Bologna where he painted the frescoes in the dome of the episcopal church of San Domenico as well as numerous copies of 16th and 17th century works. However, despite the high regard enjoyed by these paintings during the artist's lifetime, his portraits are far more sought after today. These works include a portrait of Pope Pius VIII today housed in the Galleria d'Arte Moderna di Bologna. The present work depicts an officer of the papal foreign regiment against a landscape backdrop with the outline of Bologna in the distance. According to a hand-written inscription on the back of the canvas, the sitter is Franz von Weber (1800-1870), who underwent a typical military career in the papal service: First he was appointed Major of the 1st papal foreign regiment (6.5.1832), then a knight of the papal Order of Saint Gregory (19.2.1836), then Lieutenant Colonel (31.10.1848, documented in the state archives of the Canton of Schwyz).