Florence c.1703 - 1771 London
Portrait of Jean-Francois Maximilian de Cerjat (1729–1802)
signed and dated lower left: Soldi/ Pinxt/ 1755.
and inscribed on the reverse: J.T. Max/ de Cerjat/ Ao 1755
oil on canvas
61 x 51 cm.; 24 x 20⅛ in.
J. Ingamells, 'Andrea Soldi – II', in Connoisseur, 186, July 1973, p. 182, reproduced;
J. Ingamells, 'Andrea Soldi, A checklist of his work', in The Walpole Society, vol. 47, 1978–80, p. 6, cat. no. 10.
Jean-Francois Maximilian de Cerjat was the scion of an ancient landed family connected with the cities of Lausanne and Moudon. When only a young man Maximilian came to London to join his mother's family, the d'Herwath's. He rapidly established himself among his English hosts, becoming their link to the Lausanne nobility, and became a naturalised British subject, though he spent much of his time in Switzerland. The Duke of Gloucester, the King's brother, the Duchess of Devonshire and the historian Edward Gibbon were regulars at his table.
Maximilian married Marguerite Madeleine Stample, a young heiress, on 13 November 1754, an occasion that no doubt brought about the commission of the present portrait; it may be assumed that there was also a companion piece depicting Marguerite.