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Details & Cataloguing

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An ivory miniature, Daniel Saint, signed: Saint, circa 1809
oval, wearing the white and red uniform of the Life Guards on Foot with the sash and star of the Royal Order of the Union of Holland and the badge of the Legion of Honour, later gilt-metal mount and rectangular ebonised wood easel frame

MN 4207


5 x 3.5 cm
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Provenance

Napoléon III, Emperor of the French (1808-1873);
Eugénie, Empress of the French (1826-1920);
Prince Victor Napoléon (1862-1926);
Prince Louis Napoléon (1914-1997)

Literature

Related literature

Melbourne 2012, Napoléon: Revolution to Empire, National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, 2006

Catalogue Note

Louis (1778–1846), fourth surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino, Prince français in 1804, was created King of Holland (as Lodewijk I) in June 1806 by his brother, Emperor Napoléon. His care and concern for the people of his new kingdom soon set him at odds with the Emperor, who had envisioned Louis as figure head of a puppet state, and in 1810 Holland was re-annexed into the French Empire. Thereafter Louis lived a life of exile, mainly in Austria.

Daniel Saint (1778–1847), a pupil of Jean Baptiste Isabey, Jean Baptiste Regnault and Louis François Aubry, participated at most of the Salons from 1804 until 1839. He received extensive patronage from the imperial family, in particular from Empress Joséphine. Saint’s image of the empress wearing a pearl-set parure was incorporated in several presentation boxes, among them one by Pierre André Montauban in the collection of the Fondation Napoléon, Paris (inv. no. 635, see Melbourne 2012, p. 18)

A slightly larger version of the present miniature (6.5 x 4.4 cm) is in the Wallace Collection, London (inv. no. M294); a smaller version, inset in a gold and enamel presentation box, is in the collection of the Foundation Napoléon, Paris (inv. no. 1098). All three may be compared with the full-length portrait of Louis Napoléon painted in 1809 by Charles Howard Hodges (Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, inv. no. SK-A-653). The king wears the sash and star of the Royal Order of the Union of Holland, so named in a decree of February 1808, an evolution of the Order of the Union that Louis had established in December 1806. In October 1811, after Napoléon had removed Louis from the throne of Holland, the order was abolished.

Treasures

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