In 1835, Dorner moved to the Russian Baltic along with a Baron named von der Osten-Sacken and the Baron Alfred von Lüdingshausen-Wolff. He first lived in Mitau for four years and married Karoline Alexandrine Georgine Retep. Beside the present painting, only the portrait of a soldier from 1840, which is in the Museum of Foreign Art in Riga, has been documented.
The painting is in good condition, according to age, with fresh looking colors. The paint surface shows typical craquelure, pressure marks from the stretcher and some light abraisons of paint to the margins. The inspection under UV light reveals a few minor strokes of retouching to the figure and the background. The frame is slightly chipped.
Johann Conrad Dorner (1809-1866)
Born in Oberallgäu, Johann Conrad Dorner studied at the Munich Academy beginning in 1824, where his uncle, the painter Johann Jakob Dorner the Elder, worked as Deputy Director. Johann Conrad was a student of Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld and Josef Schlotthauer whose style he imitated. From 1831 he exhibited his genre pictures at the Kunstverein München. In 1835 Dorner went to the Baltic States, initially to Mitau and in 1839 to Vilnius. From 1844, he lived in St. Petersburg. He became a respected portraitist and painted members of the Imperial family. He also became a member of the Imperial Academy. Moreover, he created a large number of altarpieces for the chapels of the castles of the Russian nobility. In 1846 he was involved in the decoration of the St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, one of the largest churches in the world. In 1853, he returned to Munich, and in 1856 he moved to Rome, where he remained until his death. Works by Dorner are at the Hermitage and the Museum of the St. Isaac's Cathedral in St. Petersburg, as well as the Vorarlberg Museum in Bregenz. (cko)