A shared moment in time

Fine art has always held a special allure for me. I could spend all day roaming the halls of the Met or the Louvre, appreciating a painting’s visual style, thematic allegory, or the artistic skill it took to bring it to life. I believe my love for painting springs from my own artistic pursuits, but also suspect it has roots in being surrounded by ancestral paintings from an early age.

I am drawn to their style, but am also fascinated by the expressions they hold, and the dress they chose to be immortalized in. I am fascinated by the time in their life in which the paintings took place, and the context around their commission.

For these reasons and more I am specifically drawn to my ancestral portraits of married couples and families. I search their expressions to see if they are windows into their relationships, I wonder what their lives were like when they were painted, and did they, as they aged look back wistfully on their more youthful appearance, or remember happier times. I will never know for certain, but these couples speak to me from the beyond, imparting veiled narratives of marriages long ago.

Couples_Master_03

Baron de Vaumarcus, Charles Philippe de Büren (1759-1795), and his wife Charlotte Elisabeth de Büren (1765-1837) painted in 1791 by Joseph Marcellin Combette

Couples_Master_02

Baron de Vaumarcus, Albert de Büren (1791-1873), and his wife Catherine de Senarclens (1796-1857), painted in 1820 by David Sulzer

Couples_Master_01

Baron de Vaumarcus, Charles de Büren (1731-1787) and his wife, Dutch heiress Cornélie Jacobée van Assendelft (1733-1799) painted in 1760 by Guillaume de Spinny

Family_01

Family portrait of Bernese Governor Louis de Büren (1735-1806), his wife Catherine Marguerite de Sinner (1754-1842), and their children Arnold Louis de Büren (1775-1854); Albert Charles de Büren (1779-1817); Albert Rodolphe de Büren (1784-1856); and Édouard de Büren (1794-1858). Louis and Catherine’s first child Catherine Rosine de Büren (1774-1849) is pictured at left with her husband Emanuel Ludwig von Ougspurger (1770-1824) and their child Vinzenz von Ougspurger (1795-1851). The scene was painted in Lausanne in 1796 with the Château St. Marie in the background. (Image courtesy of the Historical Museum of Bern)

Family_03

Family portrait of Albrecht Rudolf von Büren (1784-1856), his wife Margarethe Katharina Thormann (1790-1852), and their son Otto von Büren (1822-1888). Otto would be a mayor of Bern later in life. The portrait was painted in 1836 by David Sulzer.  (Image courtesy of the Historical Museum of Bern)

Family_02

Family portrait of  Baron de Vaumarcus, Victor Charles de Büren (1707-1773), his Catherine Fischer (1711-1787), and their sons Charles de Büren (1731-1787), Philippe de Büren (1738-1760), David de Büren (1734-1782) and Louis de Büren (1735-1806). The scene was painted in 1745, most likely at Vaumarcus castle in the canton of Neuchâtel. (Image courtesy of the Historical Museum of Bern)

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