A portrait miniature of a young Lady, wearing blue bodice with gauze scarf, her powdered hair adorned with silk ribbon
Louis-Marie Sicardi (1746-1825)
“In Paris he became the court painter, working largely for Marie Antoinette, producing portrait miniatures to be presented as diplomatic gifts”
Watercolour on ivory
Oval, 2in (49mm) high
Collection of Madame X, Hotel Drouot, Paris, 8th April 1919, lot 86
Set into a circular blonde tortoiseshell bonbonniere, with piquédecoration (damage at base edge).
Louis-Marie Sicardi began his career in Bordeaux, where he became a member of the Academy, moving to Paris in 1773. In Paris he became the court painter, working largely for Marie Antoinette, producing portrait miniatures to be presented as diplomatic gifts.
This portrait dates to the 1780s, when Sicardi’s patrons demanded miniatures that could be set into boxes or jewellery.During the Revolution and under the Empire Sicardi retained his exclusive clientele whilst not obtaining commissions directly from the court. Although he rarely signed, his work is extremely distinctive and of a consistent high quality.
A typical example of this can be found in the Metropolitan Museum, New York, with a portrait of Marie Antoinette set into a carnet-de-bal(acc.no. 17.190.1359 a-c)
Another example of a similar setting can be seen in a miniature by Sicardi sold at Christie’s, London, 25 May 2004, lot 138, set into a green glass and gold box, the cover centred by a glazed oval miniature depicting King Louis XVI of France (1754-1793)