A magnificent French Empire portrait of a beautiful young woman with symbolism of her support of her Royalist heritage. Empire gown with low bodice and Empire waist. Elegant beyond her years, and with such beautiful eyes, she is a picture of hope in a time of great upheaval in France. We know she's French, as she wears the red shawl or scarf which symbolizes her relationship to the Royals, elites, who were beheaded in The Terror. Also represents the red shawl worn by Charlotte Corday as she went to murder Murat, who had sent so many elites, Royals to the guillotine. Likewise she wears the fashionable Guillotine haircut, "
coiffurea la victime", or à la Titus. This would be significant because it ties her line to that of the Bourbon Royals who were displaced in the 1789 French Revolution. In 1812, Napoleon's expansion is nearing it's end, and it is the year of the French invasion of Russia. His story would be over in a couple of years. The Royalists still held hope France would be returned to Royal lineage. This young woman would have seen the end of Napoleon and the Restauration period of the final King of France if she survived into her 30s. Alas, I digress. She wears a generous 8-strand necklace of seed pearls and matching earrings. Her age is likely about 15-18.
Very good to excellent condition for age and type. More than 200 years old, the frame shows a bit of its advanced age, but the portrait miniature within is pristine, superb! It is unsigned, which always frustrates me. Artists were not often of merit enough to sign, but certainly of such talent. The painting has an outdoor setting which frames in the young beauty. A perfect 3" diameter round portrait on thin wafer, done in gouache, it is amazing that her face is only 3/4" from chin to hairline. Full measurements noted on photos. Convex cover glass is the old original. The portrait has been very well treasured, though it comes to us without any identification or lineage for this elegant girl.
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