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"French General Jean-Simeon Domon", rare portrait!!, oil on canvas, 1828/30
Price: 7500 EUR
(please note additional 13% tax applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)
This painting bears on verso an authentic inscription informing that this portrait was given in 1902 by Mlle Imbert de Saint-Amand, the sitter's granddaughter. It was painted seventy years prior to that, i.e. sometime between October 29, 1828 (on this date, the sitter became a Grand Officer of the Order of Legion of Honor; note that, in "our" portrait, he already wears the insignia of this order) and July 5, 1830 (the date of the sitter's death).
It is a portrait of celebrated Napoleonic (by then - Royal) military commander, Leiutenant-General Jean-Simeon Domon.
It was (with almost 100% probability) executed by the same French artist who painted a practically identical portrait of the general (with him however still wearing the Commander (neck) Cross of the Legion of Honor (hence, depicting him before (!) October 29, 1828. Although the whereabouts of the latter portrait are unknown, it can be studied through an old photograph (see our image nr.9). Domon's complete array of awards in this "earlier" portrait indicates that it was painted sometime between November 2, 1823 (on this date, he was awarded Commander Cross of the French Military Order of Saint Louis; in both versions of the portrait, first from the left, one sees the red sash (as is customary of this class of "Saint-Louis"); the second sash (red with yellow borders) is that of the Grand Cross of Spanish Order of St. Ferdinand (October 20, 1823) and October 29, 1828 (as mentioned above, on this date, the sitter became a Grand Officer of the Order of Legion of Honor).
In our version, which was painted after October 29, 1828, the artist "transferred" the cross of the Legion from the sitter's neck top the left (for the viewer - right) chest area and added the star of the Legion (one sees it on the sitter's right (for the viewer - left) chest area; both of these insignias belong to the Grand Officer class of the Legion.
Unfortunately, thus far the name of the author of both earlier and later versions remains unknown; however, as evident from the high quality of both portraits, he or she was one of the leading French (Parisian?) portraitists of the 1820s.
Jean-Simeon Domon was born on March 2, 1774, in Maurepas, department Somme. On September 6, 1791, at the age of 17, he volunteered to join the 4th Battalion of Somme and was on the very same day elected a sous-lieutenant (2nd lieutenant) by his army fellows. He fought in ranks of the armies of North and Rhine-Mosel, was present at Courtrai, the Siege of Lille and the Battle of Jemmapes. On May 1, 1794, he became aide-de-camp of General Compere; he then took part in the Dutch campaign. While in ranks of the Army of Sambre-et-Meuse he distinguished himself in the Battle of Nijmegen (October 21, 1796): he successfully managed to attack the enemy's redoubt (his horse was shot from under him). From 1799 he fought in ranks of the Army of Danube; on March 24 of the same (1799) year, he was wounded by grape shot in the left leg. Although his horse was once again shot from under him in the Battle of Leibtengen, Domon has not left the battle and was later merited for his actions by General Massena, who raised him in rank to "chef d'escadron" of the 5th Hussar Regiment. In 1800, he was transferred to the Army of Rhine.
On December 15, 1803, Domon was transferred to the 3rd Hussar Regiment. When the wars in Continental Europe resumed, he proceeded to serve in the famous brigade of General Colbert, in VI Corps of the Grand Armée. He took part in campaigns of 1805, 1806 and 1807; he distinguished himself by his courage at Elchingen, where he captured five canons and was wounded by bullet in the neck. He also fought at Ulm, Jena and Magdeburg.
On January 7, 1807, he was promoted to major of the 7th Hussar Regiment; he fought at Eylau and Friedland. In July 1807, the 11th Provisional Cavalry Regiment was assigned under his command.
On April 7, 1809, he was raised in rank to "colonel en second" in his 7th Hussar Regiment; he then (in the same year) took part in the Austrian Campaign, in which he distinguished himself at Wagram and Znaim. On August 10, 1809, he became a colonel and Commander of the 8th Hussar Regiment. From 1810 to 1811 he served in the Observation Corps in Holland.
In 1812, Domon took part in the Russian Campaign in ranks of the 4th Brigade of the 1st Cavalry Corps. Again, he distinguished himself in the Battle of Ostrovno (25/27 July 1812). On August 7, 1812, he became a brigade general and was appointed aide-de-camp of Murat. In the battles of Krasnoye and Borodino, he commanded the 1st Light Cavalry Brigade of Corps of Davout. On October 20, 1812, Murat made him Captain (chief-commander) of the Guards of Kingdom of Naples.
In Saxonian Campaign of 1813, he commanded the Cavalry of the Kingdom of Naples and fought in Dresden and Leipzig. At Löwenberg (August 16, 1813) he was wounded in the leg; in October 1813 (after the Battle of Leipzig), he followed his superior commander Joachim Murat to Naples. After Murat joined the allies, Domon retreated from Neapolitan service (January 21, 1814) and returned to France (March 21, 1814), where he enlisted himself with the Old Guards (part of Napoleonic Imperial Guard).
During the 1st Bourbon Restoration, Louis XVIII granted him the rank of a lieutenant-general (sic!) yet retained Domon as "disponible" (reserve force). During "The Hundred Days", he joined Napoleonic army and was assigned the 3rd Cavalry Division of the 6th Corps under his command. He participated in the Belgian Campaign of 1815, fought at Fleurus, Wavres and Naumur and was (yet again!) wounded at Waterloo.
The 2nd Bourbon Restoration brought him no further army appointments for five years. In this period, he lived in his estate in Peronne (Somme).
In January 1820, the King appointed him Chief-Inspector of the Cavalry and "l'écuyer du roi" (Royal Equerry) and, on February 12, 1823, made him the Commander of Dragoon Division of the 2nd Corps of Army of the Pyrenees (the 1823 French Invasion of Spain).
General Jean-Simeon Domon died in Paris on July 5, 1830 at the age of 56. He was buried at the Parisian cemetery Pére-Lachaise (16th section; see our image nr.12).
The name of General Domon is carved (among the six hundred other names) on the L'Arc de Triomphe (see our image nr.13).
For his extensive biography, see our images nr.10-11 and CLICK HERE.
1) until 1902 - heirs of General Domon
2) acquired via Austrian antique trade, March 2017
Condition: good; in early-19th-century gilded frame
Creation Year: 1828/30
Measurements:UNFRAMED:24,5x19,0cm/9,6x7,5in FRAMED: 33,6x28,3cm/13,2x11,1in
Object Type:Framed oil painting
Style: 19th century paintings
Technique: oil on canvas
Inscription:verso: dedication dated 1902
Creator: French School
Creator Dates: -
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