Antique miniature painting Napoleon I by Jean Baptiste Isabey (1767-1855) signed.
This is high quality miniature painting - portrait of the Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul in the Gardens at Malmaison - by famous French miniaturist Jean-Baptiste Isabey, signed lower left, please see pictures. The painting mounted in gilded ormolu pierced frame with floral design at corners, it has ring at the back for wall mounting. The painting protected with slightly domed glass.
Frame measures 6.6" x 5" (16.8 x 12.8 cm); painting - 4" x 5.5" (10.4 x 14 cm).
It is in excellent condition, considering age with no damage. The frame tarnished, otherwise fine.
Jean-Baptiste Isabey (1767 Nancy - 1855 Paris) was the most famous of all European portrait miniature painters of the turn of the 19th century. In 1785 he went to Paris to study under David, but the great master had just left for Rome. At first in a tight financial situation, Isabey finally was ordered to paint miniatures of the children of King's brother, Count D'Artois. By means of this commission he came to court, met the Queen Marie-Antoinette and obtained an apartment in Versailles. In 1786 David returned from Rome, accepted Isabey as pupil without payment and favoured him in every way. At the time of Revolution the artist already acquired significant clientele in Paris. He portrayed most of Convention members, became one of the intimates of Mme Bonaparte's house. Isabey was a drawing master of Hortense and Eugene de Beauharnais; he controlled the ceremony of Napoleon's coronation and organized festivities for the Empire. In 1806 Isabey was appointed "Peintre dessinateur du cabinet de S.M. l'Empereur, des ceremonies et des relations exterieurs", and in the following year - "Premier peintre de la Chambre de l'Imperatrice". From 1809 Isabey had a studio in the porcelain factory in Sevres. When in 1810, Napoleon married Marie-Louise, Isabey became drawing master to the latter. In 1812 he went to Vienna to do the portraits of the Imperial Family. He returned there again in 1814 to paint the Congress of Vienna on the order of Talleyrand. He returned to Paris in 1815. With a begin of Restoration he went to London. On his return in 1820 Louis XVIII appointed him miniature painter and "inspecteur dessinateur, ordonnateur des fetes et spectacles". Charles X gave him the title of royal draughtsman and painter and appointed him officer of the Legion d'honneur in 1825. In 1837 Louis-Philippe appointed him Assistant Keeper of the Royal Museums and gave him an appartment at Versailles. He also had the favours of Napoleon III from whom he obtained a pension of Frs. 6000.
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