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# 43677

Horace Vernet "Oil study for lost equestrian portrait of Prince Friedrich of Prussia", 1825

Price: 8900  EUR

(please note additional Austrian VAT (Value Added Tax) applies for transactions concluded within the European Union)

This relatively small (32.3cm x 24.2cm) oil painting bears an old label on verso with the following inscription: "S.A.I. (French abbreviation for "Son Altesse Imperiale" (His Highness) - B.W.) colonel des cuirassiers /collection prince Soltykoff".

It is a preparatory study for an oil painting (large-scale?), only known today through a lithograph by Jean-Francois Bellay (1790-1858). This lithograph was executed by the latter after an equestrian portrait of Prince ("His Highness"!) Friedrich Wilhelm Ludwig of Prussia (1794-1863; see our image nr.11), which is now lost and was painted in 1825 and (!) by famous French horse and battle artist Horace Vernet. The latter depicted the prince as major general (not "colonel"!) and "chief" (proprietor) of Prussian ("Silesian") 1st Life Guards Cuirassier Regiment "Great Elector". Our image nr.10 shows this lithograph.

The author of Horace Vernet's catalogue raisonné which was edited in 2000 in Lille, Mme Claudine Renaudeau surely missed this lithograph. In her catalogue she mentions (as executed in 1826!) a certain "Portrait of Prince Frederic (of Saxony?)" - Cat.No. 250 (see our image nr.12). She adds correctly (!) that the whereabouts of this work are unknown: "Tableau perdu".

Why 1826?
Mme Renaudeau found in the "livre de comptes" (account book) of the artist following notice, dated 1st March 1826: "Le portrait du prince Frederic...6000".
We, on the contrary, are absolutely sure that the 1st of March 1826 was a day of the payment's receipt, and the painting itself was finished several months before, still in 1825.

Horace (full name: Emile Jean Horace) Vernet was born in 1789 in Paris into a family of famous French horse and battle painter Carle (Antoine Charles Horace) Vernet. Fittingly, he was born in the Paris Louvre, while his parents were staying there during the French Revolution. Vernet quickly developed a disdain for the high-minded seriousness of academic French art influenced by Classicism, and decided to paint subjects taken mostly from contemporary culture. Therefore, he began depicting the French soldier in a more familiar, vernacular manner rather than in an idealized, Davidian fashion. Some of his paintings that represent French soldiers in a more direct, less idealizing style, include "Dog of the Regiment", "Trumpeter's Horse", and "Death of Poniatowski".
He gained recognition during the Bourbon Restoration for a series of battle paintings commissioned by the duc d'Orleans, the future King Louis-Philippe. Critics marveled at the incredible speed with which he painted. Many of his paintings made during this early phase of his career were considered to combine anecdotal accuracy with a charged romantic landscape. Examples of paintings in this style include "Battle of Valmy", "Battle of Jemappes", "Battle of Montmirail".
Over the course of his long career, Horace Vernet was honored with dozens of important commissions. King Louis-Philippe was one of his most prolific patrons. His depictions of Algerian battles, such as the "Capture of the Smahla" and the "Capture of Constantine", were well-received, as they were vivid depictions of the French army in the heat of battle. After the fall of the July Monarchy during the Revolution of 1848, Vernet discovered a new patron in Napoléon III of France. He continued to paint representations of the heroic French army during the Second Empire and maintained his commitment to representing war in an accessible and realistic way. He accompanied the French Army during the Crimean War, producing several paintings, including one of the Battle of the Alma.
Vernet died in his hometown of Paris in 1863.
We would also like to add that in 1836 and 1842/43 he was in St. Petersburg, where he painted several paintings for Tsar Nikolai I (some of them can be seen in Russia's most esteemed museums).

Our images nr.15-20 show several works of this artist which were offered at the international auction market in the last years.

- collection completed in Paris by Russian aristocrat, living in Paris since 1840, Prince Pyotr Dmitrievich Saltykov (in France: Pierre Soltykoff; 1804-1889; see our image nr.14).
- private collection, Paris
- auction house "Crait-Müller", Paris, Hotel Drouot, 5th February 2021, Lot 89 (as "19th century School" - see our image nr.)

Condition: good; in original oak frame

Creation Year: 1825

Measurements:UNFRAMED:32,3x24,2cm/12,7x9,5in FRAMED: 47,4x39,3cm/18,7x15,5in

Object Type:Framed oil painting

Style: Battle paintings

Technique: oil on canvas

Inscription:verso: old ledend

Creator: Horace Vernet

Creator Dates: 1789 Paris-1863 Paris



  • 2-3 days door-to-door shipment, professionally packed by Mail Boxes Etc and shipped with DHL (calculated for US): 187,78 EUR + insurance 1,8% of item price
    Shipping cost to other destinations (worldwide) on request
    Shipping price may be reduced if you dispense with the frame

  • Cheaper alternative (may be further reduced if you dispense with the frame): professionally packed by Mail Boxes Etc and shipped with regular Austrian mail - upon request under office@wilnitsky.net  (OBS: In this case maximal refunded insurance value is EUR 500 if shipping destination was the US. In Europe sometimes more, depending on destination.)

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