Each one signed and dated: The first, 22 x 17 cm, signed and dated bottom right: Eduard Ender 1841 (the back of the mounting bears two inscriptions: Zio Eugenio; EUGENIO WINTERHALTER (1806–1873)
The second, 23 x 18 cm, signed and dated bottom right: Ed. Ender 1841
The third, 22 x 17 cm, signed and dated bottom left: Eduard Ender, 1841 (the back of the mounting bears the inscription: Augusto Ruspoli)
The fourth, 23 x 18 cm, signed and dated bottom left: Eduard Ender 1843 (the back of the mounting bears the inscription: WINTERHALTER)
These four portraits of gentlemen each depict their sitter in a three-quarter view, sporting elegant attire and seated on an armchair upholstered in red brocade, against the backdrop of a sky heavy with stormclouds.
Taken as a group, the pictures show stylistic continuity both in their meticulous attention to detail and in the sitters' features, as well as in the setting that the artist has chosen to portray each of the young men. The quality of the portraits is enhanced by the pictures' small size, confirming the artist's outstanding skill as a miniaturist.
The sitters' expressions vary in each painting. In the first picture the gentleman portrayed in a dark jacket and green waistcoat displays a serene and self-assured demeanour. In the second portrait, the sitter sports a proud and stern look. In the third painting, dated "1841", the artist has captured the sitter in a more thoughtful, almost dreamy moment. And the same young gentleman appears to be the sitter portrayed only two years laters in the fourth picture, dated "1843", where he sports a tidier hairstyle than in the earlier portrait but displays a very similar expression.