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Zoomable Image of Portrait miniature of Marie Christine Caroline Adèlaïde Françoise Léopoldine d’Orléans, later Duchess of Würtemberg (1813-39), wearing white muslin dress, a belt at her waist, dated 1830

Portrait miniature of Marie Christine Caroline Adèlaïde Françoise Léopoldine d’Orléans, later Duchess of Würtemberg (1813-39), wearing white muslin dress, a belt at her waist, dated 1830

Jean-Baptiste-Joseph-Duchesne-De-Gisors (1770-1856)

Portrait miniature of Marie Christine Caroline Adèlaïde Françoise Léopoldine d’Orléans, later Duchess of Würtemberg (1813-39), wearing white muslin dress, a belt at her waist, dated 1830

Jean-Baptiste-Joseph-Duchesne-De-Gisors (1770-1856)

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Price:

£18,500

Materials:

Watercolour on ivory

Provenance:

Probably commissioned by and in the collection of Louis-Philippe, King of France (1773-1850); Queen Maria Amalia of Naples and Sicily (1782-1866) until her death; Louis-Philippe, 1st Earl of Paris (1838-1894); his son, Philippe (1869-1926); his cousin, Duke de Guise (1874-1940); his son, Prince Henri d’Orléans, Count of Paris (1908-1999), and part of the Fondation Saint-Louis until; Sotheby’s, Paris, 29 September 2015, Importants Tableaux, Dessins, Meubles et Souvenirs Historiques appartenant à la famille de France, lot 32 (22,500 euros) (mis-identified as ‘Princess Clémentine of Orleans’)

Inscriptions:

Signed and dated ‘JBJ Duchesne. de Gisors. 1830’, the reverse with stamps and labels (one mis-identifying the sitter as ‘Princess Clémentine of Orleans’ (see ‘provenance’)

Frame:

Original ormolu frame

The Louvre, Paris, holds a secondary version of this portrait [Inv. 35591], dated 1830. At the date of the portraits by Duchesne, Marie was known as Mademoiselle de Valois.

This portrait of Princess Marie of Orléans depicts her at the age of seventeen. Originally forming a trio of portraits to include her sisters (Clémentine, painted 1835 and Louise, also painted 1830), the girls were painted by the celebrated court artist Duchesne for their parents Louis-Philippe I, King of the French and Queen Marie Amalia...

The Louvre, Paris, holds a secondary version of this portrait [Inv. 35591], dated 1830. At the date of the portraits by Duchesne, Marie was known as Mademoiselle de Valois. The portraits of the sisters were most likely painted to commemorate their father’s accession to the throne, their summer dresses reflecting that this was during the hot month of August.

In 1837, Marie married Prince Alexander of Württemberg (1804-1881). Alexander came from a minor German princely family and was a first cousin of both Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert. The couple’s son, Duke Philipp of Württemberg (1838-1917) was born a year after the marriage but barely knew his mother. Princess Marie’s life was tragically short. In January 1838, a fire destroyed her workshop and she caught cold escaping into the winter night. With her health weakened and after giving birth to a baby boy in July, she died of pulmonary consumption in Pisa, where she had gone to rest in warmer climes.

Marie was remembered as an intelligent and sensitive woman, as well as an enthusiastic and talented sculptress. After studying under the artist Ary Scheffer (1795-1858), she had a studio built at the Tuileries Palace.[1] According to Scheffer, she ‘dreamed of an elevated life as an artist, and of exercising a profound influence over the art in France.’[2]


[1] Her best-known work is that of Joan of Arc on Horseback Crying at the Sight of a Wounded Englishman (Bronze - 53 x 52 x 37 cm), Chantilly, Musée Condé. For a catalogue celebrating her work see; Anne Dion-Tenenbaum (ed.), Marie d’Orléans. Princesse et artiste romantique, Somogy Editions d’Art, 2008

[2] Anastasia Easterday, Labeur, Honneur, Douleur: Sculptors Julie Charpentier, Félicie de Fauveau, and Marie d'Orléans. Woman's Art Journal. 18 (2) (1997): 11–16.


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