10 December 2002
JOSEPH HEIGEL (1780-1837)
A fine pair of miniatures of the Reiset family: The Comte de Reiset and his eldest son; the Comte, in black jacket and trousers, purple and blue waistcoat, white shirt and cravat, wearing spectacles, his grey hair combed forwards, seated in a green upholstered chair, leaning on a gilt-wood table with ink-well, open manuscripts and salt cellar, his left arm around his son, holding a drawing in both hands, wearing a blue velvet suit with high lace ruff, short blonde hair; interior background; and the Comtesse de Reiset and her younger son seated below a tree; the Comtesse facing left in white dress with deep frilled border and diaphanous sleeves, a portrait miniature of two of her children worn as a bracelet, magnifying glass attached to a large gold chain tucked into a flowing large pink silk sash, large black hat with white plume in her curling brown hair, holding a book in her left hand and her right arm around her son in green velvet suit with large frilled collar, long curling blonde hair, a blue/purple velvet hat beside him; foliate background
signed 'Heigel' (lower right) and 'Heigel f:' (mid-right), respectively
rectangular, 4¾ x 6 7/16 in. (122 x 164 mm.) and 4 15/16 x 6½ in. (125 x 167 mm.), respectively, scrolling gilt-wood and gesso frames (2)
Maxime Hébert Collection, Paris.
With Gualtiero Schubert, Milan.
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L. R. Schidlof, The Miniature in Europe, Graz, 1964, I, p. 342, II, p. 971, illustrated III, pl. 273, fig. 537 and pl. 274, fig. 537A.
The sitters are probably Jacques-Louis-Etienne de Reiset (1771-1835), a prominent government official and receveur général des Finances, and his wife Colette-Désirée-Thérèse, née Godefroy (1782-1850). Their elder son Frédéric, pictured with his father, subsequently became curator of drawings in the Louvre, curator of paintings in the Louvre and director of the French National Museums.
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