Museum Tucherschloss und Hirsvogelsaal, HI Gm 016
Portrait of the Envoy Heinrich Sigmund Wilhelm von Tucher (1853-1925) in spanish costume, 1892
Like his elder brother Christoph, the diplomat Heinrich von Tucher (1853-1925) was one of the prominent members of the family. In 1878 he entered the Imperial German diplomatic service and in 1880 that of the Royal Bavarian. He was a legation councillor in Berlin in 1887, Bavarian chargé d’affaires in Paris and Brussels from 1889, and Royal Bavarian envoy in Rome from 1896 to 1903. He worked as the Royal Bavarian envoy extraordinary in Vienna until 1918.
During his service in Italy, Heinrich acquired an important art collection, which included paintings, sculptures, arts and crafts, furniture and textiles mainly from the Renaissance. From 1919 onwards he used Tucherschloss in Nuremberg to present his collection.
Heinrich had himself portrayed standing in three-quarter view in 1892. Familiar with Lenbach, he chose a historical costume. With its waisted black doublet and pleated lace ruffles at the neck and sleeves, it imitates the strict Spanish court fashion that had been widespread since 1550. Leather gloves and rapiers are attributes of the upper class status in the 16th century. Heinrich confidently expresses his pride in belonging to the nobility with his hand on his hip and his head held high. The emphasis on the face is typical of Lenbach’s portraits: this is where all the light is concentrated, while the rest slips into diffuse semi-darkness.