Pretty dresses at the Getty, second of three. From the Getty placard:
Franz Xaver Winterhalter (German, 1805-1873; active in France from 1834)
Oil on canvas
Winterhalter flattered his aristocratic patrons with suave compositions that conveyed their wealth and sophistication. Typical of his clientele was Leonilla (1816-1918), a Russian-born princess active in fashionable Parisian circles. She is portrayed reclining on a luxurious carpet amid silk bolsters on the portico of a seaside palace. Although the setting was considered exotic and her pose daring, the sumptuous gown is a reminder of Leonilla’s refined background.
This portrait dominates its side of the room. When I entered I noticed a couple examining the lower part of the painting, and I wondered what they were looking at. When I got a chance to approach closer I understood: the moiré patterns Winterhalter painted in the silk gown are amazing.