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Oil painting - Count Brühl's Goat
  • Count Brühl's Goat
    Seiler, Carl Wilhelm Anton, born 1846 - died 1921
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Count Brühl's Goat

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Germany (painted)

  • Date:

    1892 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Seiler, Carl Wilhelm Anton, born 1846 - died 1921 (painter (artist))

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on panel (a prepared panel of Windsor & Newton Ltd.)

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Henry L. Florence

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Physical description

An oil painting showing three men in 18th-century costume in a small drawing room, examining a Meissen porcelain group on a table. On the left are a stool, a mantelpiece with a clock and a mirror. On the walls are portraits and other figures.

Place of Origin

Germany (painted)


1892 (painted)


Seiler, Carl Wilhelm Anton, born 1846 - died 1921 (painter (artist))

Materials and Techniques

Oil on panel (a prepared panel of Windsor & Newton Ltd.)

Marks and inscriptions

'C. Seiler, 1892'
Signed and dated by the artist, lower left


Height: 33 cm estimate, Width: 24.8 cm estimate, :

Object history note

Henry L. Florence, 9 Princes Gate, Haymarket W., London; by whom bequeathed, 1916

Historical significance: Heinrich, Count Brühl (1700-63), was prime minister of Saxony and director of the Meissen porcelain factory. The porcelain group of a man riding a goat represents the Meissen group popularly known as 'Count Brühl's Tailor'. It was modelled by Johann Joachim Kändler (the most important modeller of the Meissen porcelain factory) in 1740 and seems to have had no particular connection with either Count Brühl or his tailor; the factory record merely refers to a tailor riding on a goat (Y. Hackenbroch, Meissen and other Continental porcelain, faience and enamel in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, Cambridge, Mass., 1956, p. 119). The companion piece of the tailor's wife was also modelled in 1740. The interpretation of the figure as a satire of Count Brühl's tailor, who had asked to be present at a banquet, is of later origin (W. B. Honey, Dresden china, 1946, p. 111). There is an example of this porcelain group in the museum (C.982-1919).

A characteristic costume piece depicting figures in eighteenth century costume by a painter who specialised in this genre. As Seiler is not known to have visited England, the painting's support of a Windsor & Newton Ltd. prepared panel was presumably exported.

Historical context note

Carl Wilhelm Anton Seiler (1846-1921) was born at Wiesbaden, he studied architecture at the Bauakademie in Berlin and painting with Karl Raupp in Munich. He lived in Berlin, where he taught at the Academy in 1894-95, and in Munich, where he was a honorary member of the Academy from 1890 and a member from 1895. His works are in a number of German collections, and the National Museum of Wales in Cardiff and the National Gallery in Melbourne, as well as the V&A.

During the second half of the nineteenth century the enduring popularity especially of Dutch, Flemish, Spanish and French genre paintings of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries fostered a taste throughout Europe both for realist paintings of everyday life and for more idealised historicising 'costume pieces' representing domestic subjects set in the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries.

Descriptive line

Oil painting entitled 'Count Brühl's Goat' by Carl Wilhelm Anton Seiler. Germany, 1892.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900 . London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, pp. 96-98, cat. no. 213.


Oil paint; Panel


Oil painting

Subjects depicted





Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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