Oil on canvas (restorations).
H. 20 x L. 16 cm.
Frame: H. 24.5 x L. 20 cm.
French private collection.
The national domain of Saint-Cloud has in deposit of the City of Ceramics of Sèvres hard porcelain plates from a casket known as of the education of the Duke of Bordeaux" (inv. MNC 15664). These five rectangular plaques (82 x 28.5 cm), produced in 1831, were to be brought together by a gilded bronze mount for a former casket dedicated to the education of the Duke of Bordeaux, but its too late realization will have seen Louis-Philippe ascend the throne and prevent its finalization. The ornaments of the four side plates produced by Jean-Charles François LELOY (active in Sèvres 1818-1844) in the style of the cameo, illustrate the disciplines necessary for the future king: sciences, letters and arts, universal history and government.
The portrait of the central plate representing the young Henri (1820-1883) in the uniform of a colonel of the cuirassiers, corresponds in every way to our canvas, which would be the work of it (the dimensions corresponding exactly since the central part of the main plate appearing the scene, apart from the ornaments which frame it at the top and at the bottom, measures in height 2/3 of 28.5 cm, that is to say 19 cm, that is to say the height even of our table). We know that it was painted by Joseph-Ferdinand RÉGNIER (1802-1870), active in Sèvres (1826-1830; 1831; 1836-1870), after Antoine BÉRANGER (active in Sèvres 1808-1848), hence our proposal for attribution to the latter.
It emphasizes military exercises and the learning of leadership qualities. Sword in hand, the Duke of Bordeaux leads the assault on a fort, probably in reference to that of Cadiz during the Battle of Trocadero led by his uncle the Duke of Angoulême in 1823. We see in the background at left his comrades who cross the wall and wave the white flag of the Kingdom of France, while on the right the view from the terrace of the park of Saint-Cloud offers a breathtaking view of Paris with in particular the dome of the Invalides against a blue sky background cloudy.
Exhibition catalog, " Entre cour et jardin. Marie-Caroline, duchesse de Berry", Musée de l'Ile de France, Sceaux, 2007, cat. 52 p. 126 (the plates reproduced).
- Adolphe LADURNER (1798-1856), The Duchess of Gontaut, governess of the children of France, walking Louise d'Artois and her brother, Henri, Duke of Bordeaux, in the gardens of Saint-Cloud (1826). Oil on canvas, kept at the Saint-Cloud Historical Museum.
- Alexandre DUBOIS-DRAHONET (1790-1834), Portrait of the Duke of Bordeaux (1828). Oil on canvas, kept at the Museum of Fine Arts in Bordeaux (inv. Bx E 405).