Charles-Ferdinand de Bourbon, Duke of Berry was born in 1778, second son of the Count of Artois (see lot 94) and his wife, Princess Maria Teresa of Savoy. He emigrated with his parents in 1789 and fought against the Revolutionary troops. In 1801 he settled in England and married Amy Brown with whom he had two daughters. His family did not recognise this union and they forced him to marry Marie-Caroline of Bourbon-Sicilies in 1816. After the birth of a daughter in 1819, the Duke of Berry was murdered in 1820 by a saddler named Louis Pierre Louvel, who wanted to extinguish the Bourbon line. Seven months later, the young duke was born and referred to as 'l'enfant du miracle' and given the title of Duke of Bordeaux, but was later known as the Count of Chambord. His grandfather, Charles X, abdicated in his favour during the Revolution of 1830 and Henry accompanied Charles and his mother into exile. Marie-Caroline returned to France in secret two years later to organise an uprising against Louis-Philippe and attempted to win the throne for her son. Her followers were defeated and, after five months in hiding, she was found and imprisoned. The Count of Chambord spent most of his life at Frohsdorf, Austria where he died without issue and his claims passed to the House of Bourbon-Orléans.
The portrait of the Duchess is a part copy of the large scale oil portrait by François-Joseph Kinson of 1820 depicting her together with her daughter (Versailles, Musée National du Château, inv. MV 7091). Duchesne's portrait of the Duke is after a miniature by Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin, signed 'Augustin 1er Peintre du Roi. 1820.', sold Christie's, London, 15 April 1997, lot 170.
Two further versions of the Ducal couple by Counis and Duchesne are recorded in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Bordeaux, and in the Rolex-Wilsdorf Collection, Geneva, but this lot appears to be the only example in which they are united with their son.