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Guillaume Descamps "Mme de Rapp (AND NOT "MADAME DE RÉMUSAT!!)", sensational ink drawing!, 1813
Price: 2500 EUR
(please note additional Austrian VAT (Value Added Tax) applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)
This portrait will be sold only together in the following group of items.
This, of highest quality, made in 1813 portrait drawing turned out to be a preparatory study for the famous "Portrait of Madame de Remusat" (Empress Josephine's "dame du palais", Claire Elisabeth, Comtesse de Rémusat (1780-1821)), which is to see in the Museum "Chateau de Malmaison" in the suburbs of Paris (see our image nr. 10). Acquired by the museum in 1967 with pre-owner's legend, which says it is Comtess de Rémusat, this painting appeared then in the list of acquisition (and afterwards in the museum's catalogue) exactly under this name. Besides the credible legend, the museum's experts surely compared then this portrait with the known engraved portrait of Josephine's chief-lady-in-waiting made (as we believe) after (sic!) her death in 1821 (see our image nr.11).
Anyway, this "Malmaison" portrait is widely known through numerous articles on the web about Mme Rémusat (see for example our image nr.14 with article from Wikipedia).
We also add that Mme Rémusat left famous memoires, which end in the year 1813 (sic!) - she began this work on her son's advice in the late 1810s but her early death in 1821 cut off her work. Published are also her large amount of letters to her husband and son, reaching from 1804 to 1814. And nowhere, neither in the memoires nor in the letters, we can find any mentioning of one of "our " Cornudets, Vanlerberghes or Paulées (see below)…
The here discussed portrait was acquired as a part of a 6-pieces-lot (together with five other by the same hand - see our images nr.8-10) at the inventory sale of Chateau des Cornudet a Crocq, in the surroundings of Aubusson, region Limousin, central France. Comte Cornudet des Chaumettes and his cousin, comte Mathieu de la Redorte are today's owners of the chateau (both families became related through a marriage of Valentine Mathieu de la Redorte (1834-1889) and the grandson of Joseph, comte Cornudet des Chaumettes (in 1813 it was his who owned the chateau) in 1854).
The sale on 27 June 2012 was conducted by Paris auction house "Cornette de Saint Cyr" which called it rather anonimous (on request of the owners of the collection!) - "Ancienne collection du Comte Mathieu de la Redorte et du Comte Cornudet des Choummetes (correct: Chaumettes - B.W.) /provenant d'un chateau de la region d'Aubusson…" (as we see without mentioning the name of the chateau).
Besides the drawing with the portrait of "Mme de Rémusat", all other five drawings of the mentioned 6-pieces-lot are portraits of following persons:
1. (our web # 36511 ) signed, dated 1813 and (recently) titled on verso portrait of 45-year-old Jeanne, Comtesse Cornudet des Chaumettes, nee Baronesse Cellier du Montel (1768-1834), wife of Chateau des Cornudets' 1813-owner.
2. (our web # 36509) signed, dated 1813 and titled obverse (by astist!) portrait of 14-year-old Eglé-Eugenie Vanlerberghe (1799-1875), who in 1821 married the son of 1813-owner of Chateau des Cornudet - Etienne-Emile, Comte Cornudet des Chaumettes. As we suppose, exactly in these days of 1813 (as this drawing was made) the engagement of then 18-year-old Etienne-Emile and the 14-year-old Eglé-Eugenie took place.
3. (our web # 36507) signed and dated 1813 portrait of 20-21-year-old and already married elder sister of no.2, Sophie Angélique Vanlerberghe (ca. 1792-1864), who married three years before, in 1810, (the drawing like four other is dated 1813) the young Napoleonic officer Jean-Baptiste César Paulée (see our web # 36505 and # 36506).
4. (our web # 36506) signed, dated 1813 and titled obverse (by artist!) portrait of the 24-year-old Lieutenant Jean-Baptiste César Paulée (1789-1831), from 1810 husband of no.3.
5. (our web # 36508) signed and dated 1814 (sic!) portrait of 3-3,5-year-old Eglé-Rosalie Paulée, little daughter of our lieutenant (no. 4) and his wife Sophie Angélique (no. 3).
And now back to our so-called "Portrait of Mme de Rémusat".
In 1813 Comtesse de Rémusat was already 33 years old. In contrary, in 1813 ten years younger was the eldest of three Vanlerberghe sisters, 23-year-old Barbe Rosalie Josephine (1790-1879). At the instance of Napoleon Bonaparte himself (!), latter's adjutant General Jean Rapp, married Barbe Rosalie Josephine on 28 March 1805 (the bride was then 15 years old). In 1809 the general (and respectively his wife) obtained the title of Count of Empire (with the prefix "de" - Comte and Comtesse de Rapp) from the Emperor.
Nevertheless, on 1 July 1811 their marriage was dissolved, and five years later, on 26 May 1816 the divorced Mme de Rapp married her second husband, Leonard Charles de Villeutreys de Brignac. Together they had two children (while the marriage with General Rapp was childless).
And now the sensational turn: There is another engraved portrait of Mme de Rémusat (see our images nr.12-13) on which she does not look so similar to the oil portrait in Malmaison as on engraving from our image nr.11 (and respectively to the discussed here preparatory drawing for it).
On the other hand, the lady on both pieces has an indisputable physiognomic resemblance with no.2 and no.3 (sisters Vanlerberghe). This fact allows us to insist that this is not "Mme de Rémusat" (who even has no connection to the noble familiy of Cornudet and families of commoners Vanlerberghe and Paulée) but the eldest of three Vanlerberghe sisters, shortly before divorced Comtesse de Rapp!!! This discovery doubtlessly should draw attention of the experts of Museum "Chateau de Malmaison", where the final variation of this portrait for 50 years is said to be the only known today painted portrait of the famous Claire de Rémusat.
Barbe Rosalie Josephine Vanlerberghe was born on 23 May 1790 in Douai, region Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France as the first child of Ignace-Joseph Vanlerberghe (1758-1819) and his wife Barbe Rosalie Lemaire (born ca.1765). Back at the time of the 1st Emipre her father was a very wealthy man, who has had an immense fortune and was one of the richest men in France. He, being a partner of Jean-Baptiste Paulée (father of our no.4, Lieutenant Paulée), grew to the greatest French corn trader and provision supplier of the Republican (and then Napoleonic) Army. However, he went bankrupt in late 1805 (a few months after the wedding of his eldest daughter, who became Mme Rapp and got a immense giving) and was arrested for the first time in 1806; since this date he spent next years between prison and hospital. After the return of the Bourbons his business went up again, but on the 29 September 1819 he lost his last 9 million (sic!) Francs, which apparently led to his sudden death two days later.
Anyway, in 1813 the divorced Comtesse de Rapp, who was used to luxury since childhood and who saved her immense giving after the divorce (see our image nr.19 with the biography of General Rapp, where this giving is listed in detail) had no financial difficulties of any kind.
The author of this drawing (as well as the "Malmaison" portrait) was the well-known Parisian portraitist Guillaume Descamps, who just came back to the French capital after a few years of stay at the court of Joachim Murat in Naples.
Guillaume-Désire-Joseph Descamps was born in 1779 in Lille and died in 1858 in Paris. He was a pupil of François-André Vincent. In 1802, he won the 2nd Rome-Prize for his painting "Sabinus et Eponine devant Vespasien". Through involvement of Jean-Baptiste Wicar, in 1808, he became a "Peintre officiale du Roi de Naples, Joachim Murat" (in that period, he painted Murat's portrait, as well as some subjects from events of those times: among others, "La roi Joachim Murat distribuant des récompenses aux blessés a bord de la frigate "La Céres", après le combat de 27 juin 1809" (formerly in Palazzo de Potrici in Naples; it was also engraved by Descamps himself)). He regularly exhibited at the Salon de Paris portraits, historical and religious scenes (a.o. paintings intended for churches - St. Estauche (1819) in Paris, St. André (1822) and Chapel of Hospital in Lille.
Works of Descamps can be viewed today in Versailles, Chateau Malmaison, Museum of Fine Arts in Lille, etc.
Condition: good; in old matting, newly framed
Creation Year: 1813
Measurements:UNFRAMED:15,9x12,0cm/6,3x4,7in FRAMED: 27,0x22,7cm/10,6x8,9in
Object Type:Framed drawing
Style: Portrait miniatures
Technique: Black ink on paper
Inscription:monogrammed and dated: D/1813
Creator: Guillaume-Désire-Joseph Descamps
Creator Dates: 1779 Lille-1858 Paris
- 2-3 days door-to-door shipment, professionally packed by Mail Boxes Etc and shipped with DHL (calculated for US):
115,6 EUR + insurance 1,8% of item price
Shipping cost to other destinations (worldwide) on request
Shipping price may be reduced if you dispense with the frame
- Cheaper alternative (may be further reduced if you dispense with the frame): professionally packed by Mail Boxes Etc and shipped with regular Austrian mail - upon request under
(OBS: In this case maximal refunded insurance value is EUR 500 if shipping destination was the US. In Europe sometimes more, depending on destination.)
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