View full screen - View 1 of Lot 35. Attributed to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), circa 1808, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain (1768-1844)  |Attribué à Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), vers 1808  Joseph Bonaparte, Roi d'Espagne (1768-1844).
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Attributed to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), circa 1808, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain (1768-1844) |Attribué à Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), vers 1808 Joseph Bonaparte, Roi d'Espagne (1768-1844)

Attributed to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), circa 1808, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain (1768-1844) |Attribué à Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), vers 1808 Joseph Bonaparte, Roi d'Espagne (1768-1844)

Attributed to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), circa 1808, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain (1768-1844) |Attribué à Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), vers 1808 Joseph Bonaparte, Roi d'Espagne (1768-1844)

Attributed to Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), circa 1808

Joseph Bonaparte, King of Spain (1768-1844)


a herm marble bust; entitled JOSEPH on the base

H. 57 cm ; 22¼ in.

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Attribué à Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850), vers 1808

Joseph Bonaparte, Roi d'Espagne (1768-1844)


buste en marbre en hermès ; intitulé JOSEPH sur la base

The marble bust is good overall condition, with some natural dark grey and yellow veining, and some natural inclusions at several places. There is some surface abrasion to the top center of his head, and a few minor losses and chips the edges of the bust.

Very desirable marble with good carving.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

Related Literature :

S. Hoog, Les Sculptures. I – Le Musée, catalogue du Musée national du château de Versailles, Paris, 1993, p. 204, cat. no. 911.

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Référence bibliographique :

S. Hoog, Les Sculptures. I – Le Musée, catalogue du Musée national du château de Versailles, Paris, 1993, p. 204, cat. n° 911.

For this portrait of Joseph Bonaparte, Napoleon’s elder brother, produced in 1808, Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850) was inspired by the monumental sculpture of Joseph by François-Nicolas Delaistre (1746-1832), now at Versailles (inv. no. 1525). Unlike Delaistre’s marble, Bartolini’s portrayal is extremely idealised, characteristic of the imagery he was creating for the French imperial family. The Château de Versailles has a fine collection of his works, including the busts of Elisa Baciocchi (inv. no. MV1538), Jérôme Bonaparte (inv. no. MV1532) and Marie-Louise of Austria (inv. no. MV6586).


Enjoying the patronage of the Emperor and his sister Elisa, Bartolini was appointed professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Carrara. He also became director of the State manufactory established by Elisa, whose ambition was to make her principality a centre of sculpture production for the Empire. A devoted supporter of Napoleon, Bartolini visited him when he was exiled on the island of Elba in 1814.


Here Bartolini has shown Joseph Bonaparte in the year of his accession to the throne of Spain (in May 1808) after his two-year reign over the Kingdom of Naples. Another portrait of Joseph by Bartolini, similar in all respects to the present example, was commissioned by his sister Elisa, at that time Grand Duchess of Tuscany, now also in the Château de Versailles (inv. no. MV 1526).

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Pour ce portrait de Joseph Bonaparte, frère aîné de Napoléon exécuté vers 1808, Lorenzo Bartolini (1777-1850) s’inspire de la sculpture monumentale du frère de l’Empereur réalisée par François-Nicolas Delaistre (1746-1832) aujourd’hui conservée à Versailles (inv. no. 1525). Contrairement au marbre de Delaistre, Bartolini choisit une représentation à l’idéalisation radicale, propre à l’imagerie qu’il développe de la famille impériale française. Le château de Versailles conserve un bel ensemble de ses œuvres, dont les buste d’Elisa Baciocchi (inv. no. MV1538), de Jérôme Bonaparte (inv. no. MV1532) ou de Marie-Louise d’Autriche (inv. no. MV6586).


Bénéficiant de la protection de l’Empereur et de sa sœur Elisa, le sculpteur est nommé professeur de l’Académie des Beaux-Arts de Carrare. Il devient également directeur de la manufacture d’État créée par Elisa, dont l’ambition était de faire de sa principauté un centre de production de sculptures sous l’Empire. Bonapartiste dévoué, Bartolini rend visite à Napoléon lors de son exil sur l’Île d’Elbe en 1814.


Il représente ici Joseph Bonaparte l’année de son accession au trône d’Espagne (en mai 1808) après avoir régné deux années sur le Royaume de Naples. Un autre portrait de Joseph de la main de Bartolini, tout à fait similaire à celui que nous présentons, est commandé par sa soeur Elisa, alors Grande duchesse de Toscane, également aujourd’hui au château de Versailles (inv. no. MV 1526).