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J.-B.-J. Augustin-Attrib. "Prince Józef Poniatowski", Outstanding Large Miniature!!, 1810/11
Price: 35000 EUR
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*Framed measurements will be provided upon request.
This large miniature on ivory displays superlative quality of execution.
It shows one of the most famous warlords of the Napoleonic Epoch - Prince Józef Antoni Poniatowski (1763-1813; CLICK HERE). It strongly resembles another portrait of Poniatowski painted by one of Poland's leading portraitists (and miniaturists), Jozef Kosinski (see our image nr.13). However, the miniature presented here is not the latter's work (see below).
Prince Józef Poniatowski is depicted (alike in the portrait of Kosinski) wearing the uniform of a division (note the three stars on his epaulettes) general of Duchy of Warsaw. As in Kosinski's portrait, he bears the orange sash of Prussian Order of Black Eagle (presented to him in 1802), the breast star and chest cross of Grand Cross of Napoleonic Order of Legion of Honor (presented to him in 1809), the breast star of Grand Commander of Polish (then Duchy of Warsaw) Order "Virtuti Militari" (presented to him in 1809), and the white cross of the Prussian (?) St. John (Maltese) Order (presented to him in 1798). Additionally (*absent in Kosinski's portrait), the Prince is shown with the Knight Cross of Royal Order of Both Sicilies (he was awarded it in 1809 by Murat; it is also a very rare model of this cross).
Concerning the author of this portrait:
We considered as a prime candidate one of Paris' greatest, 19th-century miniaturists - Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin (for comparison, see our images nr.18-25). Given our attribution is correct, we would automatically imply that this miniature was made by Augustin in 1811, in Paris. Coincidentally, Prince Józef Poniatowski arrived in Paris in April of the same (1811) year as the representative of King of Saxony and Duke of Warsaw, Friedrich August I. Also in Paris, he attended the ceremony marking the baptism of Napoleon's son. He stayed in Paris for the next four months and, together with Emperor and his generals, ran the preparations for the forthcoming campaign against Russia.
Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin (1759 Saint-Die/Vosgues - 1832 Paris) called himself "the pupil of nature and meditation", and although he had some lessons in painting from Claudiot in Nancy, his talent was really personal, and there was no artist at least in France, on whom he could model himself.
In 1781, he arrived in Paris, where he was received by the Pinchon family, friends of his parents. Their portraits painted by Augustin made him known quickly and secured him with other commissions. The artist gained fame quite rapidly.
Augustin and Isabey were the two greatest French miniaturists of the late 18th - early 19th centuries, and it would be difficult to say who was a better one. They are as different as could be; in modern terminology, one could call Augustin "the naturalist" and Isabey - "the impressionist". Both had a very great number of pupils, and because of that a considerable influence on the art of the miniature in their period. Amongst the best pupils of Augustin can be mentioned his wife Madeleine Pauline (nee Ducruet) who surpasses them all: Fanny Charin, Le Tellier, Fontallard, Alexandre, Delatour, G.E. Lami, Sieurac, Mme Dalacazette, Mlle Hue de Breval, and Mme de Mirbel. Napoleon had a marked preference for Isabey. In spite of that he nominated Augustin official painter of the Imperial Court. At the restoration Louis XVIII made him painter in ordinary of his cabinet, and in 1821 he became Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur. In 1820 he went to London to carry out a number of orders, but he does not seem to have remained there very long. He died of cholera in Paris in 1832.
Provenance: private collection, Milan
Condition: fairly good: glass is chipped at 3:30 o'clock (artist's joins at both left and right!!)
Creation Year: 1810/11
Object Type:Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory, laid on card (oval)
Creator: Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin
Creator Dates: 1759 Saint-Die/Vosgues-1832 Paris
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