HRH The Duchess Diane of Württemberg, Princess d’Orléans – DDiane
Portrait of an Exceptional Artist
Diane Françoise Maria da Gloria d’Orléans was born in Petrópolis (Brazil) on 24 March 1940. Her parents – Prince Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris (1908 to 1999), and Princess Isabelle d’Orléans-Braganza (1911 to 2003) – were living in exile since, as potential successors to the French throne, they were persona non grata in France. The family returned to France in 1953 and took up residence in Louveciennes, not far from Versailles.
A Multitalented Artist
DxDiane began painting at the age of 14. She was particularly interested in silk painting. At the age of 16 she perfectioned her technique at the Académie Julian in Paris. She also broadened her experience with other artistic techniques such as silk screen printing, oil painting, stuccowork, and glass and wood painting.
She has used the signature DxDiane on her works since that time. The letter D placed before Diane signifies “Dimanche de Pâques” (Easter Sunday), the day of her birth.
Württemberg – New Centre of her Life and Work
After her marriage to Carl, Duke of Württemberg in 1960, Diane, Duchess of Württemberg, Princess of France, initially took up residence at Friedrichshafen Castle on Lake Constance. In the following years their children Friedrich, Mathilde, Eberhard, Philipp and Michael were born.
Carl, Duke of Württemberg immediately recognised and acknowledged his wife’s strong creative drive and has always supported her artistic work.
New Beginning and First International Success
Due to a serious illness brought on by working with lead-containing painting materials, the artist was obliged to take a three-year break. It was not until 1971 that she was able to resume her artistic work. Her first exhibition followed in 1972, in the Sculpture’s Galery of Paris.
In 1975, the family moved to Altshausen Castle, and in 1977, the couple’s sixth child, their daughter Fleur, came into the world.
New Focus on Sculptural Work
1980 saw the start of the artist’s sculptural work. Her favourite material was metal and, initially, especially cast bronze. She also learned welding from the Kienzle brothers in Altshausen, enabling her to form sculptures from various pieces of metal. Her creative energy is particularly evident in monumental works portraying angels, created in 2001&2015 and made of welded perforated plate.
Art and Craftsmanship
DxDiane has acquired an extraordinary range of craftsmanship skills in the course of exploring a diverse scope of artistic techniques, from glass painting to the creation of buckles, ceramic works, porcelain painting, patchwork creations, all the way through to the making of rag dolls. An additional key focus are her haute couture designs which have given her an unmistakable profile as a fashion designer.
Passion and Expressive Energy
DxDiane’s work is characterised by the attempt to explore the human condition and to reflect it in her art. It is therefore hardly surprising to find central themes such as “lovers” and “affection” recurrently appearing in ever varied form throughout her artistic work. Her enormous expressive energy is especially evident in her sculptures, particularly those portraying the phenomenon of metamorphosis, for example the changeover from human form to animals, plants, and even stones. It is here that her great passion, expressiveness, and ability to express surprising ideas in an easily understood way comes most to the fore. Her motifs are frequently born from the subconscious and are therefore sometimes seen as having a touch of surrealism about them. The artist’s sense of humour and simultaneous seriousness are characteristic of her search for perfect forms of expression.
In 1979, she established the foundation “Diane Herzogin von Württemberg, Prinzessin von Frankreich-Stiftung”. 2010 saw the establishment of the “Fundación Princesa Diana Duquesa de Wurtemberg” in Paraguay. The net return from the sale of her works goes to projects aiding disadvantaged children inside and outside Germany and into the protection of regional culture and heritage.
Honours and Tributes at Home and Abroad
Diane, Duchess of Württemberg has been awarded numerous national and international prizes for her artistic and charitable commitment.
Conferment of the “Prix Européen de la Culture” in Paris for the Duchess’s artistic commitment and patronage.
Bestowal of the “Pro Merito Melitensi” (Grand Cross for Exceptional Services) especially for her personal commitment towards aid projects in Africa – one of the highest decorations conferred by the Order of the Knights of Malta.
Award of the “DODO” Prize for Women in recognition of the artistic work and active social commitment of Diane, Duchess of Württemberg.
Conferment of the “Montblanc de la Culture Arts Patronage Award” in Munich. The international jury awarded this globally unique prize honouring contemporary private patronage to the Duchess for her personal and financial commitment within the scope of her foundations.
The Duchess was appointed Chairwoman of the Board of Trustees of the “Kinderland” foundation by the Minister-President of Baden-Württemberg, Mr Oettinger. The Kinderland foundation is a sub-organisation of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation which promotes the future potential of Baden-Württemberg. It lays the foundations for cutting-edge research, diverse educational measures and responsible social behaviour towards the people we associate with.
Recipient of a French knighthood from the Legion of Honour (Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur). Bestowal of an honorary doctorate by St. Petersburg State University.
Sculpture’s Galery, Paris, France
Monrepos Castle, Ludwigsburg
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Württembergische Bank, Stuttgart
An-Hyp Bank, Brussels, Belgium
Land Mission (Landesvertretung) of Baden-Württemberg, Bonn
Monrepos Castle, Ludwigsburg
La Citadelle, Villefranche-sur-Mer, France
Horbourg-Wihr Town Hall, Alsace, France
Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Stuttgart
Galerie Apart, Pforzheim
Espace Pierre Cardin, Paris, France
Golfclub Domäne Niederreutin, Bondorf
Modehaus Bredl, Ravensburg
Regional Horticultural Show (Landesgartenschau) in Ostfildern / Scharnhausen
Horbourg-Wihr Town Hall, Alsace, France
Urwelt-Museum Hauff, Holzmaden / Teck
Cabinete Literario, Las Palmas, Spain / Canary Islands
Atrium DaimlerChrysler, Berlin and Potsdam
Ambassade du Tourisme, Saint-Tropez, France
Galerie Chacaregu, Palma de Mallorca, Spain
Espace culturel Chapelle Sainte Anne, La Baule, France
Espace d’expression artistique, Carré des Coignards, Nogent-sur-Marne, France
Land Mission (Landesvertretung) of Baden-Württemberg, Brussels, Belgium
Monrepos Castle Hotel, Ludwigsburg
Kloster Lorch im Remstal
Town Gallery of Pfullendorf
Staatliche Majolika Manufaktur, Karlsruhe
EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, Karlsruhe
Wetzdorf Castle in Heldenberg, Austria, with Ernst Fuchs
Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw and Schmuckwelten, Pforzheim
Hotel Bristol, Paris, France
Land Mission (Landesvertretung) of Baden-Württemberg, Berlin
Local Authority of Neuhausen auf den Fildern and FANUC Robotics, Neuhausen auf den Fildern
Sparkasse Pforzheim Calw, Calw
Mercedes Benz Center, Moscow, Russia
State Museum of City Sculpture, St. Petersburg, Russia
Museum Cabildo Asunción, Paraguay
Museum of the Castle of the Dukes of Württemberg in Montbéliard, France
HSBC Trinkaus & Burkhardt AG, Stuttgart branch
Schloss Altshausen, Altshausen
Barnes, Paris, France
Klinik Diakonissen, Salzburg, Austria
BW Bank Stuttgart, Stuttgart
House of Württemberg: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Württemberg / http://www.hofkammer.de
Royal House d’Orléans (House of France): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Orléans