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BARON FRANÇOIS PASCAL SIMON GERARD (1770-1837) Portrait of the Empress Joséphine in coronation costume Black stone with white chalk enhancement on bistre paper Red stamp of the Déséglise collection Under glass, This important life drawing of a bust of Josephine in coronation costume is a portrait made by Baron Gérard probably in 1804, just after her coronation by Emperor Napoleon I, and preparatory to the large full-length painting of Josephine in the Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau. More than any other artist, Gérard was close to Joséphine de Beauharnais (1763-1814), who had been married to Napoleon Bonaparte since 1796. Gérard met the future empress in 1801, when he was commissioned, along with Girodet, to paint two pictures on the theme of Ossian to decorate the Malmaison, Josephine's personal residence. He quickly became one of the most sought-after portraitists in the Bonaparte entourage, and naturally, when Josephine was crowned Empress by Napoleon I on 2 December 1804, she called on Gérard to paint her official portrait. She appointed him her official painter in 1806. Unable to pose for long hours for the official portrait that Gérard completed in 1807, which was exhibited at the Salon of 1808 and is now kept in the Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau, Gérard produced this drawing, probably during a single break. He probably reused this drawing for the many versions and bust reductions he painted afterwards. In this portrait, Gerard portrayed the Empress with her mouth slightly pinched, as was his custom, to hide her rotten teeth. In his full-length portrait, Gérard transformed this slight affectation into a simple smile. Gérard delicately drew not only the face of his model but also precisely the tiara, the earrings and the necklace, to which he would probably no longer have access after this drawing. The rest of the body, somewhat in the manner of Ingres a few years later, is only very slightly sketched. The emerald, diamond and pearl necklace and pendants were Josephine's personal property. The diadem, on the other hand, made of the diamonds of the crown, the ancient French royalty, did not belong to her. In the Fontainebleau painting, the coronation crown is on a cushion next to the throne. The drawing belonged to Victor Déséglise (1839-1916 Issoudun), a collector and bibliophile who belonged to the "Société des Amis des Livres" and the "Cent Bibliophiles". In his comfortable home at Frapesle in Issoudun, he had assembled a very rich library, drawings and vignettes from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries for book illustration, as well as a collection of ancient and modern prints and drawings. He was friends with his contemporaries, the Goncourt brothers, and also owned a rich series of their works. His collections were dispersed in three sales, one during his lifetime in 1896 and four after his death in 1921. Three marks were put on his drawings, referenced by Frits Lugt as L. 356c, L. 356d and L. 356e. The first, which we find on the present drawing, is usually affixed to the leaves themselves. This mark represents the initials of the collector VD with those of his wife Jenny Bezançon. The other two appear on the mounts, sometimes on the back, or even on the folders that the collector made for some of his drawings. Provenance: - Former Victor Déséglise collection (L. 356c) - French private collection Related works: - Versailles, Domaine National du Château de Versailles, Portrait de l'Impératrice Joséphine impératrice des Français en buste (inv. MV 5135), on deposit at the Château de Malmaison, Rueil-Malmaison - Versailles, Domaine National du Château de Versailles, Portrait de l'Impératrice Joséphine impératrice des Français en pied, esquisse (copie) (inv. MV4860) - Fontainebleau, Musée National du Château de Fontainebleau, Portrait of Empress Josephine Empress of the French in full-length (inv. N18) Exhibitions: Hubei Provincial Museum, Tianjin Museum, Lianonig Provincial Museum and Nanjing Museum, Napoleon The Eagle Over Europe, Four exhibitions in China, 2015. BARON GERARD (1770-1837) PORTRAIT OF EMPRESS JOSEPHINE IN HER CORONATION ROBES GRAPHITE WITH WHITE CHALK HIGHLIGHTS ON BISTRE PAPER RED SEAL OF THE DESEGLISE COLLECTION FIRST EMPIRE GILTWOOD GLASS FRAME 27 X 19CM

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Location of the item : France - 77300 - fontainebleau

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