Franz Gerhard von Kügelgeni Georg Friedrich Parroti portree - ühe maali leidmis- ja rännakulugu

Portrait of Georg Friedrich Parrot by Franz Gerhard von Kügelgen - a story of its wanderings and discovery


  • Ingrid Sahk University of Tartu Museum



The article focuses on a portrait of Georg Friedrich Parrot that has
been our main source about the appearance of the famous rector
and professor of physics. However, the portrait painted by the artist
Franz Gerhard von Kügelgen was lost for the past 100 years until it
reached the University of Tartu thanks to a lucky chance in 2016.
Finding the painting initiated a research project to clarify and verify
the provenance and identity of the recovered piece of art.
Initially, there were two versions of the same portrait. The
hypothesis that was proved during the research was that in 2016
the University of Tartu acquired not the first version of the portrait
painted around 1803 but its replica painted in later years and commissioned
by von Liphart. The replica (painting No. 2) was brought
to Germany in the late 19th century and travelled to the US after
World War II with the Zychlinski family who were also the last owners
of the painting.
Technical research (X-ray, UV, IRR, microsampling etc.) that also
involved five other paintings by Kügelgen proved that the portrait of
Parrot has been painted in the early 19th century and features many
similarities with other portraits by the same artist. The painting underwent
conservation and was displayed with a new golden frame
at the exhibition dedicated to the 250th birth anniversary of Georg
Friedrich Parrot in 2017.


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