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Villers "Captain Clemendot from "corps francs" - ?", important miniature on ivory!!, 1792/93
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 5900 USD
( for EUR price see date rate )
Please note: Shipping and insurance costs are not included in this promotion, ONLY ITEM PRICES!
(please note additional 13% tax applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)
THE SELLER WILL COVER SHIPPING WITH REGULAR MAIL FOR THIS ITEM!
Our first feeling upon examining this miniature was that we are dealing here with portrait of a young hunter from the mid-1790s. The miniature portrait of a hunter by J.B. Isabey (see our image nr.9) illustrated in Schidlof's book seemed to have fully confirmed our hypothesis.
Nonetheless, one of our colleaugues discovered the image of a bugle on silver (sic) buttons of the sitter's redingote (see our image nr.4) - a detail, which instantaneously transformed our sportsman into a military officer, namely one from "corps francs" (territorial militia (volunteers)). The green color of his redingote indicates that in 1792/93 this young man served in the "Compagnie franche Clémendot" (one of "corps francs") attached to Armée du Nord.
This volunteer unit was formed on 20th October 1792, contained a. o. 150 Austrian deserters and was commanded by certain Nicolas-Simon Clemendot (see image nr.10). We meet this Clemendot again in 22nd May 1793-issue of "Bulletin", where certain Captain Clemendot from Armees du Nord is laudatory mentioned (with his company (sic!)) as distinguished himself in the fights against the rebels of Vendee.
This superior quality miniature was recognized by our friend and world-best specialist in portrait miniatures Dr. Bodo Hofstetter (Switzerland) as a very typical work of Parisian artist Villers.
Portrait miniatures by late 18th century, French artist Villers (some of them signed "Villers", some also with accompanying date from 1780/1790s) one sees in collections of Louvre, Museum Celle (Tansey Collection), Museum Cognacq-Jay (Paris) etc. Also at the current antique market we regularly come across works of this 1st-class artist - either signed or attributed to him.
Until recently a big uncertainty ruled concerning artist's real identity.
His works, dated by him himself (or estimated by experts on base of sitter's dresses) before (!) 1794 were traditionally attributed to Maximilien (Michel-Jean-Maximilien) Villers (ca. 1768-1839). Being an architect and garden designer, this gentleman is never mentioned in 18th/19th century sources as portrait miniaturist. The same situation is with works dated beginning 1794 - they are often ascribed to Maximilien Villers' wife (since 1794), female portraitist (in oils!) Marie-Denise (Nisa) Lemoine - Mme Villers. She is also never mentioned in old sources as author of portrait miniatures!
We are absolutely sure to deal in all "Villers" cases with another person. Definetely a man (he is repeatedly called in old literature "M.(onsieur) Villers" he is also often mentioned as a great art collector - "M. Villers, peintre en miniature" (sic! not "architect"). As an owner of important paintings by old masters he is mentioned beginning 1785. Sometime he is even called "de Villers".
Paul Mantz in his article "Les Miniaturistes du XVIII Siecle" (in "L'Artiste", Paris, 1858) says the following:
"Villers, tres-amateur de tableaux, doit aussi etre compte parmi les peintres de Marie-Antoinette: il a donne d'elle un petit portrait qui figurait dans le cabinet Dedbruge-Dumenil...".
We are strongly convinced exactly this, belonging to close circle of Marie-Antoinette's fauvorite ones) artist was author of all (!) "Villers" miniatures. Some of modern experts don't exclude the possibility that he is ident with certain Nicolas Villers (born in 1753, in Paris) who is recorded in the students rergisters of the Academie Royale, mentioned as a protege of Halle.
On another side, the famous, turn of 20th century, British specialist in portrait miniatures, Williamson says he personally saw miniature signed "L. Villers 1791"...
Provenance: Private collection, Dusseldorf, Germany
*We are very greatful to Dr. Hofstetter for his generous help.
Condition: good, one minor vertical crack crossing sitter's right (for observer) ear; in original frame (never inspected outside of the frame)
Creation Year: 1792/93
Measurements: UNFRAMED:6,4x5,5cm/2,5x2,2in FRAMED: 16,0x13,5cm/6,3x5,3in
Object Type: Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Inscription: verso: remainder of an old label with legend
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: active 1780/90s-in Paris
- We will cover shipping with regular registered mail (delivery between 7-14 days) for this item.
OBS: Austrian mail refunds cases of loss or damage with maximum EUR 500.
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