Preserving the Past, Securing the Future: Donations of Art, 1987–1997
About the Artist
Born in Breslau, Prussia, (now Wroclaw, Poland) in 1786, Julie Mihes studied with Sebastian Weigand, court painter to the Prince of Hohenlohe.
Mihes traveled to Dresden in 1816 where she continued her training by copying paintings by old masters such as Titian and Annibale Carracci, which hung in the royal collections. She also began painting portraits of the local aristocracy. After the death of her mother in 1820, Mihes went to Vienna where she experimented with lithography, most notably copying Albrect Dürer’s altarpiece, The Adoration of the Holy Trinity.
In 1822, Mihes married Alois Primisser, an antiquarian and curator of the Habsburg collection in the Castle of Ambras. Upon his death in July 1827, and her father’s in October of the same year, Mihes and her sister Sophie joined The Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (also known as the Salesian Sisters). Mihes took the name Marie de Chantal, eventually becoming the order’s Mother Superior from 1843 to 1849. Although she largely gave up painting after 1827, Mihes did instruct novices in the art of manuscript illumination and used her artistic talent to decorate the convent. She died in 1855 at the age of 68.