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L. Demonts C. Terrasse, Musée du Louvre. Catalogue de la donation Félix Doistau. Miniatures des XVIIIe et XIXe siècles, Paris, 1922, p. 61 ("M. Veil-Picard conserve de lui un remarquable portrait de la reine Marie-Antoinette.").
M. Jallut, Marie-Antoinette et ses peintres, Paris, s.d. [vers 1955], p. 24.
C. Kunstler, "Marie-Antoinette et ses portraits", Le jardin des Arts, 38, décembre 1957, illustr. p. 117.
L. R. Schidlof, La miniature en Europe, Graz, 1964, II, p. 591 ("Plusieurs min. remarquables sont dans la coll. Weil-Piquard [sic], Paris, parmi des dernières, une Marie-Antoinette, sign.: Mosnier 1775, de toute beauté.").
Post Lot Text
JEAN-LAURENT MOSNIER (FRENCH, 1743/1744-1808)
Queen Marie-Antoinette (1755-1793), wearing a white satin dress with a blue-grey satin surcoat with turquoise ribbons, feathers and pearls in her high-piled powdered hair, seated in an interior with a terra-cotta bust of Louis XVI on a desk, a harp and a curtain opening on a garden, holding in her right hand a musical score
signed and dated on the side of the desk 'Mosnier 1775' (lower left) on ivory
oval, 4½ x 3¾ in. (115 x 96 mm.), ormolu frame with tied ribbon surmount.
A student at the Academy of Saint-Luc from 1766, Mosnier soon gained notoriety among courtesans thanks to his pleasant and flattering portrait miniatures. He was appointed official court miniaturist to Queen Marie-Antoinette and his portraits were often used as diplomatic gifts. As well as a miniaturist, Mosnier was also an accomplished large-scale portrait painter on canvas and was accepted as a member of the Royal Academy in 1786. During the Revolution he gave up miniature painting and fled to London where he was reunited with some of his former clients. With the introduction of the Alien Bill in 1796, he was forced to leave England, arriving in Hamburg where he enjoyed further success. He later settled in St Petersburg where he was appointed official court painter to Tsar Alexander I and teacher of the Imperial Academy. He died in 1808.
In 1775, Jean-Laurent Mosnier painted several portraits of Queen Marie-Antoinette, including one recorded in the Bruni-Tedeschi collection (see Miniatures de la collection Bruni-Tedeschi, Turin, 2005, no. 4, p. 98, erroneously as dated 1776).