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François Edmé Ricois (1795-1881)

The Family of Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry (1778-1820) in the Grounds of the Château of Bagatelle Signed and dated 1825

Oil on canvas | 31.5 x 39.7 cm (sight) | RCIN 401158

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  • With the Château de Bagatelle dominant in the middle ground, the figures of Charles Ferdinand and Marie Caroline, Duke and Duchess of Berry enjoy the gardens. A nurse looks after their playing children, Princess Louise (1819-64) and Henry (V), Duke of Bordeaux (1820-83).

    The artist has created an imagined family group, the Duke having died several months before the birth of his son, and five years before the painting was executed. A lithograph after this painting was made by Louis Julien Jacottet.

    Charles Ferdinand d'Artois, Duke of Berry (1778–1820) was the son of the future king, Charles X of France and Princess Maria Theresa of Savoy. During the French Revolution he left France with his father, then Count of Artois, serving in the émigré army of his cousin, the Prince of Condé, and then with the Russian army. In 1801 he moved to England where he stayed for thirteen years. In 1814 he returned to France, and Louis XVIII appointed him commander-in-chief of the army at Paris on Napoleon's return from Elba. In 1816 he married Princess Caroline of Naples (1798–1870) to whom three children were born before the duke's death. He died in February 1820, as a result of being stabbed whilst leaving the opera house. Seven months later, the duchess gave birth to a son, Henri, duc de Bordeaux, better known to history as the comte de Chambord. After July 1830 the Duchess of Berry spent some time at Holyroodhouse Palace with Charles X, but had resolved to quickly return to France in an ill-fated attempt to secure the throne for her son.

    François Edmé Ricois (1795-1881) studied under Jean Victoire Bertin, and Anne Louis Girodet. He made his Salon debut in 1819, and went on to exhibit widely in the French provinces, obtaining medals at Douai, Lille, Toulouse, and Cambrai. He was noted for his watercolour views of French landscapes, which in their atmospheric conviction and breadth of handling, owe a debt to the English romantic painter, Richard Parkes Bonington.

    Collection of the Duchesse de Berry; Princess de Bourbon -Massenas Sale 1938, Sotheby's(?); presented to the Holyrood Amenity Trust by HM Queen Mary, October 1938

  • Medium and techniques

    Oil on canvas


    31.5 x 39.7 cm (sight)

    50.5 x 58.5 x 8.4 cm (frame, external)

  • Alternative title(s)

    The family of Charles Ferdinand, Duc de Berry (1778-1820) in the grounds of the château of Bagatelle

    Charles Ferdinand, Duke of Berry (1778-1820), Marie Caroline, Duchess of Berry (1798-1870), and Princess Louise, later Duchess of Parma (1819-64) and Henry (V), Duke of Bordeaux, Count of Chambord (1820-83)