The overall miniature is quite large at 130mm x 100mm so the skill needed to paint the individual lace threads is hard to comprehend.
It is comparable with a similar miniature portrait of another Italian lady elsewhere in this Gallery, see View
Frustratingly, the miniature is signed as shown in the two enhanced images below, but it has not been possible to read the signature.
It may read P. Gra.u....it Napoli 1852, but the artist's name is far from certain.
Thus any help in identifying the artist would be very gratefully received. The red pigment used by the artist for her dress was not properly prepared and hence it has dried unevenly with resultant minor paint cracking and paint loss in several areas. 1448
Antonio Canova (1 November 1757 – 13 October 1822) was an Italian sculptor from the Republic of Venice who became famous for his marble sculptures that delicately rendered nude flesh. The epitome of the neoclassical style, his work marked a return to classical refinement after the theatrical excesses of Baroque sculpture.
In 1815 he was commissioned by the Pope to superintend the return from Paris of those works of art which had formerly been conveyed thither under the direction of Napoleon. In the autumn of 1815 he gratified a wish he had long entertained of visiting London, where he received the highest tokens of esteem.
It has been suggested that the artist for whom he showed particular sympathy and regard in London was Benjamin Haydon, who might at the time be counted the sole representative of historical painting there, and whom he especially honored for his championship of the then recently transported to England and ignorantly depreciated by polite connoisseurs Parthenon's marbles. It is said, the Elgin marbles - after a recommendation by Canova - were acquired by the British Museum, while plaster copies were sent to Florence, Italy, according to Canova's request.
Among Canova's English pupils were sculptors Sir Richard Westmacott and John Gibson. A miniature of Canova by Henry Bone was painted in 1821 as an enamel copy of the original by John Jackson. In June 2009 Sotheby's sold the Canova portrait by Bone for £23,750. Although a little larger, (243mm x 195mm), it forms a striking pair with an enamel portrait of Sir Anthony Carlisle FRS and later PRCS, (205mm x 170mm) also by Henry Bone which is in this collection, see View
While in London, Canova attended several lectures by Carlisle who was then Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy (1808-1824). Although the lectures of Carlisle were hugely popular, he was much maligned by Haydon for teaching the beauty of human form based upon live models and discussing Greek sculpture, rather than teaching the underlying human muscle structure from dissected cadavers, as had been the practice of the two previous Professors of Anatomy at the RA, William Hunter and John Sheldon. A factor that disinclined Carlisle to teach from dissected cadavers, was the experience of his immediate predecessor, Sheldon, who had the unfortunate experience of realising that a subject delivered to him for dissection was in fact the resurrected body of his own sister, who had died several days previously.
The credit granted to Haydon by some scholars in respect of the acquisition of the Elgin Marbles, would be better directed towards Carlisle, and Carlisle's father-in-law, John Symmons, who was prominent in society and had seconded Lord Elgin's second attempt to join the Dilettanti. Although it was not until Elgin's third nomination in 1811, that his nomination to membership was successful. Carlisle and Symmons were far more influential in London society than Haydon, whose style of painting was then out of fashion.
Other portraits of Canova painted during his 1815 visit to London were by George Hayter and Thomas Lawrence.
Canova returned to Rome in the beginning of 1816, with the ransomed spoils of his country's genius. Immediately after, he received several marks of distinction: he was made President of the Accademia di San Luca, the main artistic institution in Rome, and by the hand of the Pope himself his name was inscribed in "the Golden Volume of the Capitol", and he received the title of Marquis of Ischia, with an annual pension of 3000 crowns. 1460
She is wearing mutton-chop sleeves and the precise date is a valuable guide to clothing and hair styles fashionable in France in 1831.
Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard lists;
MASSARD Jean Marie Raphaël Léopold (Crouy-sur-Ourcq, 29 janvier 1812 – Paris, 13 mars 1889), but no miniatures by him are known for comparison.
In 1831 he would have been aged 19, so it is possible it is an early work by him, but the precise date of the signature here (day and year) tends to indicate an amateur artist.
Therefore it has been suggested it would be preferable at this stage to list this miniature as a previously unrecorded French artist;
J. Massard, active in 1831, that is separate from the first one. 1429
Only one of the portraits is signed by the artist, that of the girl, and so far, it has not been possible to firmly attribute the name. The inscription appears to read "Fait par Gautaloz 1822" for 'made by' an artist with a name similar to Gautaloz or Gantaloz. However, those names do not appear in reference books such as Blattel. Hence, it is either a different name, or the portraits are the work of a previously unrecorded artist.
There is quite a family likeness between the mother and daughter, and as the pose is also so similar, it is believed all three portraits were painted by the same artist.
Both mother and daughter are wearing red coral necklaces, and the daughter appears to have a red coral comb in her hair. At this time coral was believed to ward off illness, which is a major reason for so many females to be seen with coral jewellery in portrait miniatures of this period. 1430, 1431, 1432
There are several self-portraits in this collection, but this is the only one painted in enamel. Painting in enamel is an especially demanding technique, as the colours need to be applied separately and they change colour during the process of firing in a kiln.
It is signed Emilie Lafontaine 1885 on the front when she would have been 46 years old. The reverse is inscribed in French, but translates into English as, "Portrait of Mme Emilie Compant-Lafontaine, nee Saran pinx".
Emilie was born in Geneva on 23 March 1839 and died there on 25 October 1892. Schidlof records that she painted on enamel and that a miniature portrait by her, of her husband, Leonard Francois Compant-Lafontaine is in the Geneva Library. It sounds as if that was painted in 1872 and is therefore a companion portrait to the one of her as depicted here. And that of her husband was perhaps one of those exhibited by her at shows in 1874, 1878, and 1883.
Separate references state that she married him in 1870, describing him as a "magnetiseur" which translates as magnetiser, mesmerist, or hypnotist. See;
Geneva (Switzerland). Musée d'art et d'histoire, Société auxiliare du Musée de Genéve, Bibliothèque publique et universitaire de Genève - 1936 -
So far no reference to her husband as a hypnotist has been located. 1433
Regrettably my knowledge of French and German is virtually non-existent, which is the main reason they have not been listed previously. They each have an inscription on the reverse, which is much more recent, as the backing appears to be from an old envelope with a postmark for Basle 29 November, 1944.
While I am not fully confident, I think they are by a well-regarded Swiss artist Johann-Jakob Muller (1762-1817). There is an extensive article about him (in French), by Vincent Lieber, in "100 Ans de Miniatures Suisses - 1780-1880). The article includes nearly 20 examples by Muller and they seem to be very similar in style to this pair.
It seems that most, if not all of his miniatures are on paper, a sign that he drew portraits of middle class citizens, rather than the wealthy. Thus, although not having the brilliance of ivory, these miniatures do show why there was such a preference for ivory as the base. The colours of these have faded, but there is good detail.
The inscriptions say that they are two small oval portraits from the estate of Hermann Burckhardt 18??-1942, maybe? his grandparents. The father of Hermann Burckhardt was Emanuel Burckhardt (I. Le Roche, II. Wilhelm) 1820-1892. Judging by the dates and the apparent age (about 50 years?) of the sitters, it therefore seems possible that the sitters are the parents, or even grandparents, of Emanuel Burckhardt. 1403a, 1403b.
In the IGI reference to Le Roche is revealed as the name of Emanuel's first wife, Margaretha Charlotte LaRoche (1825-1857), who he married in 1847, with his occupation between 1847 and 1892 recorded as "Aristorf Pastor", perhaps meaning he was a personal chaplain to an aristocratic family? Margaretha's parents being Simon Emanuel LaRoche, a pastor, and Anna Catharina Bernoulli. His second wife was thus named ... Wilhelm, but her first name has not yet been located.
Possibly related was a noted German ethnographer, Hermann Burckhardt, with a good knowledge of Arabic and Turkish, who in 1907 traveled to Yemen and submitted a detailed political report on the situation to Dr Moritz, the German director of the khedival library in Cairo. One of his recommendations was construct a railway line to help maintain Ottoman authority in Yemen.
Although not yet linked, it is possible that the Hermann Burckhardt who died in 1942, was the father of the Hermann Burckhardt who was involved in the design and construction of German battleships and battlecruisers of the World War II era.
This miniature portrait is quite large for a miniature on ivory, being 98mm x 144mm.
Unfortunately, at present the artist is identified only as "J T A 1914" or perhaps "T A 1914". It is hoped a kind visitor may be able to identify the artist.
However, the sitter can be identified by his uniform and comparison with other similar images.
For example the photograph is circa 1912, and is of Crown Prince Wilhelm of Germany and Prussia (1882 - 1951) as a Lieutenant in the Prussian Guard Regiment. He was the son of Kaiser Wilhelm II, the leader of Germany during World War I and a great-grandson of Queen Victoria.
The similarity of uniform is apparent, although the miniature shows the Crown Prince as a higher rank and must have been painted around the outbreak of World War I. It is quite possible the miniature was painted to mark his naming as Commander of the 5th Army in August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I. Thus his rise from Lieutenant in just two years was rapid!
He led the 5th Army until November 1916, a two-year period which included the battle of attrition known as the Verdun Offensive. From April 1916 onward he tried in vain to convince the supreme command that the Verdun offensive no longer made any sense, but the campaign continued until September 2nd of that year.
During World War I he was belittled as the "Clown Prince" by the British soldiers; that nickname was adopted by the American forces in 1917.
A most unusual feature of the miniature can be seen in the close up of his hand, where the Crown Prince is holding a cigarette. In current day terms, this is a most odd combination of casual and formal in a portrait, but must have been acceptable in 1914.
One of the decorations he is wearing is the Order of the Black Eagle, the highest order of chivalry in the Kingdom of Prussia
Frederick William Victor Augustus Ernest (German: Friedrich Wilhelm Victor August Ernst) (6 May 1882 – 20 July 1951) of the House of Hohenzollern was the last Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Prussia and the German Empire. He was colloquially known as William or Wilhelm.
After the outbreak of the German Revolution in 1918, both Emperor William II and the Crown Prince signed the document of abdication. The Crown Prince went into exile to the isle of Wieringen, in the Netherlands.
In 1923, he returned to Germany after giving assurances that he would no longer engage in politics. The former Crown Prince held some political ambitions, and was reportedly interested in the idea of running for Reichspräsident as the right-wing candidate opposed to Paul von Hindenburg in 1932, until his father forbade the idea.
The Crown Prince supported Hitler for some time, hoping and announcing in public that this man would do for Germany what Mussolini had done for Italy - making an end to all Bolshevist/Marxist influence. He had connections with some organizations, more than loosely connected with the National Socialist Party (Nazi Party) and allowed himself to be used by the Nazi government in various symbolic actions.. After the murder of his friend, the former Chancellor Kurt von Schleicher in the Night of the Long Knives (1934), he retreated from all political activities. Most of his efforts from 1919 until 1934 had been directed to make a return of the Hohenzollerns to the throne viable option again, and he had assumed that Hitler would give this idea his support.
William lived as a private citizen on his family's estates throughout World War II. Upon his father's death in 1941, William succeeded him as head of the House of Hohenzollern, the former German imperial dynasty. In 1951, the former Crown Prince died of a heart attack in Hechingen, in the ancestral lands of his family in Swabia, as the family's estates in Brandenburg had been occupied by the Soviet Union.
William married Duchess Cecilie of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (20 September 1886 - 6 May 1954) in Berlin on 6 June 1905. Cecilie was the daughter of Grand Duke Frederick Francis III of Mecklenburg-Schwerin (1851-1897) and his wife, Grand Duchess Anastasia Mikhailovna of Russia (1860-1922). However during the early stages of this marriage the crown prince had a brief affair with the American opera singer Geraldine Farrar.
Their eldest son, Prince Wilhelm of Prussia, was killed fighting for the German Army in France in 1940.
The Crown Prince and his wife are buried at Hohenzollern Castle. 1356
Coincidentally, in 1910, the Crown Prince is recorded as having played tennis with the British brother of a new addition to this collection, see Unknown - portrait of Fanny Goschen
The frame is not shown here, but is perhaps the most expensive wooden frame in the collection. It is extremely well made of veneered and inlaid rosewood. The veneering even covers the complete rear of the portrait. At each corner of the rear, there are "butterfly" dowels to hold it together.
As the portrait is of five family members it would have been expensive when it was painted. Miniature painters often doubled their standard price when there were two sitters in a portrait, and here we have five.
The girl on the left is holding a string tied to a butterfly, which can be seen silhouetted against the baby's collar.
More recently, I have become aware that there is a miniature shown here and painted by the Italian artist Giambattista Gigola in 1807, which is in the collection of the Museo Poldi Pezzoli of Milan, Italy.
The pose and style is completely different, so there is no real similarity, except that miniature also features four children, one of who is also holding a butterfly on a string. Later copies of the Gigola miniature show the butterfly replaced by a string of pearls, so it seems there may have been a reaction against the practice.
Nevertheless, these are the only instances I am aware of where a child has a butterfly on a string and hence that makes them unusual. Thus it seems probable the miniature shown here is Italian in origin, rather than French or Spanish. 1182
For more about him see Franz Joseph I of Austria - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia 1165
However, from the comments below, left by kind visitors, it is now suspected to be King Albert of Saxony (1828-1902) who reigned from 1873-1902 and is shown here in several different images.
Albert, was born April 23, 1828. Prince Albert's education, as usual with German princes, concentrated to a great extent on military matters, but he attended lectures at the University of Bonn.
King Albert was noted for his military ability. At the age of 21, he served as a captain in the army of the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein in their war against the Danes.
In 1866, during the Seven Weeks' War between Austria and Prussia, Albert commanded a Saxon corps, which distinguished itself at the decisive Battle of Königgrätz by a firm stand against the Prussia
Although even then, it is conceded the man in the miniature does not seem to have enough medals, and it is probable many officers of the time adopted a similar appearance!
Schidlof was obvioulsy not impressed with his work as he comments "Rather mediocre artist"!
The sitter is unknown. 1164
The sitter is unknown, but it is interesting that he was demonstrating his loyalty to the revolution by wearing a tricolor neck scarf.
Elsewhere in the collection there is a miniature portrait by Marie Noireterre of a man wearing a similar tricolor scarf which was painted around the same time. 1145
Painted in 1801 is this miniature portrait signed "C Bourgeios an 9", for Charles Guillaume Alexandre Bourgeois (1759-1832).
The wording "an 9" refers to year 9 of the Revolutionary Calendar that was used in France from 1793 to 1804. Thus this miniature was painted in 1801.
There are several miniatures in this style by Bourgeois in the Louvre.
For more about him see Charles Guillaume Alexandre Bourgeois - Wikipedia, the free ...
Literature" Les Peintres en Miniature p119. 1154
It is set into the top of a green lacquer snuff box with gold inlay (apologies for the scanner glare) and the miniature itself is only 43mm in diameter.
The counter enamel is inscribed "Chinard celebre sculpteur membre de l'Institut National de France, & de l'Athenee de Lyon. Peint en Paris par son ami Soiron de Geneva Van 1801 an 9". (Chinard, celebrated sculptor and member of the National Institute of France and the Athenum of Lyon. Painted in Paris by his good friend Soiron of Geneva in 1801, year 9).
Dating of the miniature is interesting as it is dated in both the normal calendar as 1801, and also in the French Revolutionary Calendar which commenced in 1792, thus "an 9" was 1801.
The Bourgeois miniature in this collection is also dated "an 9".
Enamel miniatures by Soiron are rare, but for another example of a miniature by him see Jean François Soiron - Museum Briner und Kern
Joseph Chinard (1756-1813) was a famous French sculptor. This miniature is believed to be the only contemporary portrait of Chinard and hence is an important historical item.
Although the image itself does not appear, this miniature of Joseph Chinard is described in the book; "Les Peintres en Miniature actifs en France 1650-1850". The reference is towards the end of the section illustrated here.
The Frick Museum describes Chinard as one of the greatest portraitists of 18C and early 19C France, see ARCHIVED PRESS RELEASE from THE FRICK COLLECTION
Acquired subsequently for this collection, was this medal of Joseph Chinard by Torcheux.
The obverse and reverse views of the medal are shown here with the obverse depicting Joseph Chinard.
The reverse depicts Chinard's famous sculpture of the Empress Josephine which is in La Malmaison.
The medal is 67mm in diameter and is signed "A H Torcheux", for Andre-Henri Torcheux (1912-?) who is shown in the photo.
Torcheux seems to have made a number of medals commemorating various prominent French citizens from the 19C and 20C.
At present the actual date and the reason for striking this medal is unknown.
A bust of the Empress Josephine was sculpted in Milan in 1805 when she accompanied Napoleon to that city for his coronation as the King of Italy.
A slightly different terracotta version, with shoulder ruffs on the dress, is currently housed in the collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art in Ohio.
For more about Chinard, including details of his works in the Getty Museum see Joseph Chinard (Getty Museum)
Also shown here is another miniature portrait by Jean-Francois Soiron. This one of Napoleon was displayed in an exhibition at Somerset House entitled 'France in Russia : Empress Josephine's Malmaison Collection' which ran from 25 July to 4 November 2007.
The exhibition explored the history of Empress Josephine’s Malmaison collection, purchased by Alexander I in 1815 and now held by the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, Russia. 884
More about Joseph Chinard
Born in Lyon on February 12, 1756, Chinard entered the studio of Barthélemy Blaise (1738-1819) around 1770. By 1880 he had received commissions for statues of The Four Evangelists for the Church of St. Paul in Lyon (destroyed) and other religious works followed. An early Narcissus in marble, is reproduced in Les Arts (November 1909), along with The Death of the Centaurs and several other works. Baron La Font de Juys, a patron of Pierre Julien (1731-1804), advised Chinard to study in Italy and provided the funds for him to do so. In return, Chinard finished copies of Antique originals: Bacchus, Ariadne, Homer, Germanicus, etc., while he was in Rome (1784-87). In addition, he entered a competition at the Accademia di S. Luca, submitting a first prize-winning terracotta Perseus and Andromeda (several versions are known: see Rocher-Jauneau, 1961 and Worley, 1989).
A profile portrait medallion of Louis XVI, signed and dated 1789, suggests that Chinard did not immediately take to the Jacobin ideas that were blowing in the wind. However the sculptor erected a colossal statue of Liberty a year later on the occasion of the Fête de la Fédération, then returned to Rome in 1791 where he developed new and highly radical Revolutionary themes, such as Jupiter Striking Down Aristocracy and Apollo Trampling Superstition at His Feet (both from 1791; Musée Carnavalet, Paris). The latter was considered to be an outrage against the Catholic Church since Chinard chose a veiled female figure of Religion (complete with a crucifixion) to represent Superstition. Chinard was arrested in the middle of the night and thrown in the Castel Sant’Angelo in September of 1792. Back in Paris, Chinard’s wife alerted Jacques-Louis David who appealed to the Convention, then the papal authorities were warned by the French Republic. Chinard was released but had to leave Rome immediately. Later he would receive an indemnity for the possessions he had to abandon. Yet apparently, his terracottas were not proof enough of his republican zeal, for his subsequent works in Lyon were overly scrutinized. For example, the figure of Liberty, carved for the pediment of Lyon’s City Hall, was criticized for holding a civic crown too far back into space, and his statue of Fame was misinterpreted as summoning the emigrants to return from Switzerland. Again Chinard was placed under arrest (1793). While in prison, he modeled Innocence Taking Refuge in the Bosom of Justice (unlocated), sort of an artist’s statement of self defense, then he was acquitted. No wonder Chinard decided to specialize in portraiture.
In 1795 Chinard was elected to the Institut, though he continued to reside in Lyon. He continued to produce portraits, light mythological themes and Revolutionary allegories. Only a few of his many portraits (including numerous medallions) can be listed here; the reader is urged to consult Lami’s catalogue and Rocher-Jauneau’s many articles. The latter, still regarded as the Chinard authority, states that Chinard’s portraits are marked by “a sensitive and very personal realism.” There are several portrait busts of Napoleon, Josephine (Château de Malmaison), Prince Eugène de Beauharnais, General Desaix (Salon of 1808), Empress Marie-Louise, and fellow artists (Girodet, Boilly, Isabey). The Rhode Island School of Design has Chinard’s marble bust of Madame Récamier (1802). The sculptor was named professor at the Ecole spéciale de Dessin in Lyon in 1807. On 20 June 1813 Chinard passed away. He would be remembered as one of the greatest portraitists during the French Empire and Lyon’s premier Neoclassical sculptor.
De la Chapelle, Salomon. “Joseph Chinard, sculpteur, sa vie et ses oeuvres.” Revue du Lyonnais 2 (1896): 77-98, 272-291, 337-357 (1897): 141-157; Tourneux, Maurice. “La collection de M. Le comte de Penha Longa.” Les Arts (November 1909); Saunier, Charles. “Joseph Chinard et le style Empire à l’exposition du Musée des Arts Décoratifs.” Gazette des Beaux-Arts (January 1910); Schwark, Willi G. Die Porträtwerke Chinards. Freiburg-im-Breisgau, 1929; Dorner, Alexander. “Portrait Bust of Mme. Récamier.” Rhode Island School of Design Bulletin 26 (1938): 13-19; Zimmermann, H. “Joseph Chinards Terrakottabüste von Mme Récamier.” Berliner Museen 7 (1957): 42-47; Rocher-Jauneau, Madeleine. “Persée et Andromède de Chinard.” Bulletin des Musées et Monuments Lyonnais (1961): 350-352; Boyer, Ferdinand. “Projet d’un monument de la Victoire par Chinard pour Marseille en 1812.” Bulletin de la Société de l’Histoire de l’Art Français (1962): 263-264; Rocher-Jauneau, Madeleine. “Chinard and the Empire Style.” Apollo 80 (1964): 220-226; Perez, Marie-Félicie. “L’exposition du ‘Sallon des arts’ de Lyon en 1786.” Gazette des Beaux-Arts 86 (December 1975): 199-206; Rocher-Jauneau, Madeleine. L’oeuvre de Joseph Chinard au Musée des Beaux-Arts de Lyon. Lyon: 1978; Skulptur aus dem Louvre. Exh. cat. Duisburg, 1989, cat. nos. 68, 84, 87; Worley, Michael Preston. “Persée et Andromède de Chinard: Une fausse attribution?” Revue du Louvre et des Musées de France (October 1989): 249-252; Rocher-Jauneau, Madeleine. “Chinard, Joseph.” From David to Ingres: Early 19th Century French Artists. The Dictionary of Art series. London and New York: Grove Art, 2000, pp. 54-55.