Verso the picture becomes all the more interesting with the paper label reading; “j g hölz in altheim bei riedlingen a.m. kesel, burgermeistersgattin, 2 halft d. 18 jh” and many partly indecipherable ink inscriptions to the canvas which Dr. Alfred Weitnauer has partly jotted down on the reverse of the accompanying photograph.
Johann Adam Kesel (1700-1776) was a German merchant and mayor of the imperial city Kempten. His second wife, whom he married on August 29, 1762, was the sitter, who was born in 1727 as Anna Margareta Hau (daughter of Hieronymus Hau ) from Kempten, and who died in 1798 and was buried on February 6. She would have been wealthy, largely through this association, as shown in her dress and jewelry in this portrait. Anna’s father was the painter Hieronymus Hau (1679-1745) who was a Swabian painter.
The accompanying photograph of the painting is inscribed verso by Dr. Alfred Weitnauer, (1905-1974) who was a German writer, home keeper , historian and folklorist. Among his achievements is the coinage of the name Allgäu and the writing or the publication of dozens of historical works that deal with the history of the Allgäu and its families. It appears he undertook research of this painting in 1944. It is unclear if the painter was ‘J G Hölz’ referred to on the paper label to the reverse.
Not just a very decorative period portrait but one with a huge amount of backstory and featuring a prominent sitter.