Pierre Paul Prud'hon (Cluny 1758-1823 Paris)
This lot is offered without reserve. THIS LOT IS SOLD WITHOUT RESERVE
Pierre Paul Prud'hon (Cluny 1758-1823 Paris)

A portrait of Marie Adrienne Hervé Louise de Carbonnel de Canisy, Duchesse de Vicence

Pierre Paul Prud'hon (Cluny 1758-1823 Paris)
A portrait of Marie Adrienne Hervé Louise de Carbonnel de Canisy, Duchesse de Vicence
oil on canvas
24 x 19¾ in. (61 x 50.2 cm.)
Marie Emma Eugénie de Caulaincourt, grand-daughter of the sitter, and by inheritance to her husband
Comte Pierre de Kergolay.
David-Weill Collection.
with Wildenstein, by 1924.
J. Guiffrey, L'Oeuvre de P.-P. Prud'hon, Paris, 1924, p. 245, no. 641.
L. Frölich-Bum, 'Porträtausstekkung bei Wildenstein in London', Weltkunst, XXXIII, no. 15, August 1963, p. 9.
G. Hubert, 'Un portrait de l'Impératrice Joséphine par Prud'hon', Revue du Louvre, 1980, p. 261, no. 4.
H. Weston, 'London, Prud'hon at Wildenstein's and the Heim Gallery', Burlington Magazine, CXXIII, no. 941, August 1981, pp. 495, 501, fig. 44.
New York, Wildenstein, Prud'hon (1758-1823), November 1922, no. VII.
London, Wildenstein, Masterpieces: Festival of Britain, 31 May-14 July 1951, no. 11.
London, Wildenstein, Portraits 15th to 19th Centuries, 10 July-10 August 1963, no. 36.
London, Wildenstein, Consulat - Empire - Restauration: Art in Early XIXth century France, 17 June-27 July 1981.
Paris, Musée Marmottan Claude Monet, De Le Brun à Vuillard: de l'Académie Royale à l'Académie des Beaux-Arts, trois siècles de peinture Française, 13 October 1995-7 January 1996, p. 84-5, no. 32.
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This lot is offered without reserve.

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Lot Essay

The subject of Prud'hon's portrait is Marie Adrienne Hervé Louise de Carbonnel de Canisy whose first husband (and uncle) was Louis Emmanuel de Canisy, equerry to Napoléon Bonaparte. After divorcing Canisy, she married in 1814 Armand Augustin Louis de Caulaincourt (1773-1827), a military officer and one of the members of the ancient aristocracy favored by the Emperor. (On 7 June 1808, Caulaincourt had been created Duc de Vicence.) The Duchesse was lady-in-waiting to Empress Josephine and was considered one of the most beautiful women in the Imperial Court. The portrait - several copies of which are known, one of which appeared at auction in Paris, Droûot Richelieu, 28 June 1996, lot 82 - probably dates from 1814 and may have been made to commemorate the sitter's second wedding.

Although Prud'hon confessed that he did not especially enjoy painting portraits, he was a master of the genre and fulfilled many commissions during the Restoration. Astonishingly varied in their simplicity and marked by a note of gentle melancholy, Prud'hon's last portraits mark a high point in the history of French portraiture. As the Goncourts observed (1895), 'in the last and most beautiful portraits by the master... you will find these individuals of spiritual breadth, moral vitality, intimate ideality, penetrating beauty...'.

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