1858 Countess of Castiglione by Friedrich von Amerling (Boris Wilnitsky)

This Countess Castiglione is not Virginia, née Oldini, the notorious Countess of Castiglione and mistress to Napoleon III. Boris Wilnitsky's notes for the portrait include this:  The curator of the 19th century paintings in this museum and organizer of this exhibition Dr. Sabine Grabner wrote about our sitter in the catalogue: 'Betti' (Barbara) Probst was born in 1835 in Vienna. It is possible that she was the 'Frl. Probst' mentioned in the German Theater Almanach of 1854 to have acted in 'Erste Localgesangsparthieen in Posse und Vaudevilles' (First Sing Festival in Burlesque and Vaudeville) in the Gräflichen Skarbekschen Theater in Lemberg. In 1856 a certain 'Frl. Betti Probst' was to be found in the actors list of the Carl Theater in Vienna, back then under direction of the famous Austrian author Johann Nestroy. At first she played smaller roles as the Dorothea in Nestroy's 'Eulenspiegel or Schabernack über Schabernack,' but soon she quickly became a favorite actress of the public for her beautiful voice and her talent for comedy. Her most important role was the female principal in Nestroy's parody of Tannhaeuser. The actress seems to soon have married, then the Viennese author Wurzbach reports: a certain Countess Castiglione sang with success in the fifties under the name 'Fraeulein Probst' in the Carl Theater in Vienna. Her husband was the landlord Count Josef von Castiglione, born in 1800 in Lemberg (sic!), who spent his last years as retired Fieldmarshall-lieutenant in Graz... (We believe he has seen his future love for the first time in his native Lemberg and then brought her to Vienna, where he possibly helped her to join Nestroy's ensemble) ...Countess Barbara von Castiglione born Probst died on 9 April 1868 in Vienna."

Keywords:  1858, von Amerling, Countess, curly coiffure, headdress, vee neckline, bertha, lace, long gauzy sleeves, bows, crinoline, necklace, earrings, bracelets, wrap

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