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Jacques-Marie Le Gros (fl. 1816/24) "Baron Narcisse Gombert de Bailleul", large miniature, 1816
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 1650 USD
( for EUR price see date rate )
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This large, clearly signed and dated "1816" (see our image nr.5) miniature shows a portrait of a young French gentleman in a civil dress. There is an old illegible legend on the verso of the miniature, which was written in 1838. Its last line provides the name of the sitter - "Baron Gombert de Bailleul". Incidentally, another miniature portrait of this gentleman was offered at the same auction sale (for provenance, see below) and was most possibly inscribed on verso as well: in any case, the auction catalogue entry provides his full name - Narcisse Gombert de Bailleul (1790-1863; see our image nr.15).
The information about Baron Narcisse (his full given name was Narcisse-Edouard-Marie) Gombert de Bailleul available through the Web is very scarce. We present here some documents indicating that in the year 1816 (date of our miniature)
a) he was a member of the National Guards in the rank of sous-lieutenant (2nd lieutenant), and that he lived at rue et barriere Sevres in Paris
b) he was a son of a textile manufacturer, Baron Gombert de Bailleul, who together with his partner invented the so-called "fil d'Écosse" cotton (mercerized cotton (mercerization is a treatment for cotton fabric and thread that gives fabric or yarns a lustrous appearance and strengthens them))
c) in 1841 (after succeeding his father?), he received patent for a reeling machine.
According to the recent information discovered in archives by Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard, miniaturist Jacques-Maris Le Gros (also Legros) was probably born in Port de Pain, Haiti, where his parents (both French nationals) lived at the time (perhaps in the period of Directory or Consulate).
In any case, as a boy he returned to Paris with his parents and proceeded to study miniature painting under great Jean-Baptiste Isabey and his pupil Louis-Francois Aubry. Le Gros lived at that time at 20 Chausseé d'Antin. It was from this address that he sent his miniatures and portraits in watercolor to the Salons of 1817, 1819, 1823 and 1824.
As Schidlof writes, the majority of his works are on vellum, stretched on a plaque of enameled metal (exactly as in our case; in fact it was a technique first introduced by his master Isabey!), more rarely he used ivory or card as a base.
Works of Le Gros were strongly influenced by Isabey. He painted portraits of numerous persons, among them - members of high aristocracy, politicians, scientists, and artists. He also painted portraits of Russian nobility: before all Alexander I, Emperor of Russia, then Princes Lobanoff and Shcherbatoff, General Count Woronzov, Counts Naryshkin and Poltoratsky, Ambassador Count Panin, etc.
According to the latest available information Jacques-Marie Le Gros died in 1828.
This work could well be the same miniature that was exhibited in Vienna in 1924 at "Albertina" museum (see our image nr.9). The catalogue entry described it as a portrait of a gentleman in green coat with black tie (exactly as in our case!). Similarly, its size would have matched that of our miniature, the only exception being its signature (recorded as "S. J. Le Gros 1818"). Naturally, it is possible that the cataloguer misread the author's signature…
- probably collection Jacques Modern (given that this miniature is the same one that was exhibited in 1924)
- collection Edward Grosvernor Paine - Christie's South Kensington, London, 13 May 1997, lot 89 (with the same situation as above!)
- auction house "Chevau Legers Encheres", Versailles, 30 September 2012, lot 65
Condition: fairly good; in original frame (frame has minimal damages at its upper corners)
Creation Year: 1816
Measurements: UNFRAMED:13,5x10,0cm/5,3x3,9in FRAMED: 21,8x17,7cm/8,6x7,0in
Object Type: Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on vellum, streched on metal plaque (oval)
Inscription: signed and dated: J. Le Gros Paris 1816; verso: old legend
Creator: Jacques-Marie Le Gros
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: active between 1816-24
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