The Finnish National Gallery


Collection of Carl von Haartman/The Finnish National Gallery/Sinebrychoff Art Museum


Portrait of a young man, Margaret Wulfraet (1678-1760) (?)


Collection of Carl von Haartman/The Finnish National Gallery/Sinebrychoff Art Museum


By Courtesy of The Finnish National Gallery

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The portrait of a young gentleman is signed by an elusive monogram, in which C. Hofstede de Groot noticed a certain resemblance to that used by the Arnheim artist Margaretha Wulfraet. It might, however, be profitable to also look for the artist among the wide circles of Central European, late 17th and early 18th century painters who were deeply influenced by Dutch art. In the portrait, there is some awkwardness both in proportions of the figure and in the handling of the paint, but the monogrammist has been quite successful in rendering the vivacious personality of the young gentleman.

About the collector Carl von Haartman
The name of “Haartman” has become very well known in many different connections in the history of Finnish science, art, and government. The salons of St. Petersburg soon began to buzz with talk of the handsome doctor who could almost perform miracles. He had famous patients among others as Princess Menchikov , Grand Duchess Maria Nikolajevna, the Dutchess of Leuchetenberg, Czarevitch Alexander with his wife, born as Princess Maria of Hesse, and finally the Crown Princess, later Czarina Maria. As a personal physician, Carl von Haartman had a very close, confidential relationship with royal patients and the Czarina. He loved all beautiful things around him: landscapes, interiors, people and music. Anyhow there is hardly any mention of art or its collection in his letters. On the other hand, the Collection itself is large enough and sufficiently ambitious in scope to characterize its collector as a keen “amateur d’art”. (The information has been collected from the book The Beer King of Helsinki, the Czarina’s Personal Physician and Dutch Old Masters. Printed by Frenckellin Kirjapaino Oy 1994/Kai Kartio.)

Why we chose this painting?
It hasn’t been displayed often or exhibited noticeably. We also consider early female artists interesting, too.
The portrayal of the person is performed with emotion and intimacy. There are also fine and interesting details in the portrait such as details of the textile lying on the table. We also wish to find more information about the attribution and the artist.

Text: Anne-Mari Forss, Leena Hannula, Salla Heino, Reetta Kuojärvi-Närhi/Sinebrychoff Art Museum