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Joh. Bapt. Joseph Bastiné-Attrib. "J. M. Herbertz, "capitaine de la garde nationale", oil, 1808/11 6500 EUR
Joh. Bapt. Joseph Bastiné-Attrib. "J. M. Herbertz, "capitaine de la garde nationale", oil, 1808/11
According to the legend (added by later hand) on verso of this work, we are dealing with portrait of the 24-year-old (so the legend informs us) Johann Matthias Herbertz from German town Uerdingen (now a borough of Krefeld - town in province North Rhein-Westphalia, which is 18km away from Dusseldorf and 90km from Aachen). From 1798 to 1814 Uerdingen was a part of French departement (department) de la Roer (see our image nr.15) with Aachen (in French - Aix-la-Chapelle) as its capital. Alike other French departments, de la Roer had at its disposal a unit of "garde nationale" (National Guards; CLICK HERE). The latter served as a reserve force or a type of local militia. The young officer in "our" portrait happens to be wearing the uniform of exactly this unit, i.e. the "garde nationale du departement de la Roer" (note his "hausse-col" (image nr.6)). Surely, this type of uniform was not worn daily, but only on municipal occasions: for example, during various festivities or when the town hosted guests of special importance, etc. "Our" portrait's commission was prompted by exactly that type of (festive) event: in fact, it was Napoleon's coronation anniversary (the inauguration of the 1st Consul Napoleon Bonaparte to Emperor of France took place in Paris several years prior), and the (written in Roman letters) inscription in the lower right corner confirms it: "Napoleone Delecto /Parisiis Coronato / Imperatore". As it is known, Napoleon was inaugurated on December 2nd, 1804, in Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Exactly four years later (or more? see below), during the anniversary of this event, "our" sitter put on his uniform of "garde nationale" and stepped into the studio of a portrait artist working in the same town Aachen where "garde nationale's" headquarters was located.
Johann Baptist Joseph Bastiné was born in 1783 in Leuven, Flanders, and died in 1844 in Aachen. In 1802/03 he studied at the Academy of Leuven and - from 1804 - was a pupil of Jacques-Louis David in Paris. According to his biographer, "some years later" he came to Aachen, where in 1811 he founded his own drawing school (it is unclear, whether he had settled in Aachen already in 1808, or whether the family legend on verso of "our" painting had "moved" the date of its execution several years behind; to be cautious, we choose to date this portrait as painted sometime around 1808-1811). In the same (1811) year, in Aachen, Bastiné married Theresia van Vlasselaer. In his drawing school, mostly portraits were drawn. Besides managing his school, between 1814 and 1844 he taught drawing at the Aachen "Kaiser-Karls-Gymnasium" (secondary school). He was recorded as the owner of a house on Aachen's Theaterstrasse. Among his known pupils, Bastiné counted (among others) Alfred Rethel, Heinrich Franz Carl Bollotte, Louis Scheden, Aloys Hubert Michael Venth, Friedrich Thomas, Johann Peter Götting, August Adolf Chauvin and Peter Ludwig Kühnen.
Provenance: Swiss private collection
Creation Year: 1808/11
Measurements: UNFRAMED:90,5x74,0cm/35,6x29,1in FRAMED: 109,5x92,0cm/43,1x36,2in
Object Type: Framed oil painting
Style: Old Master paintings
Technique: oil on canvas
Inscription: verso: two old legends with a date of 1808
Creator: Johann Baptist Joseph Bastiné
Creator Dates: 1783 Leuven, Flanders-1844 Aachen, Germany
Nationality: Flemish / German
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