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Jean-Baptiste Duchesne (de Gisors) (1770-1856)

François, Prince de Joinville (1818-190?) c.1835-60

5.2 x 4.1 cm (frame, external) | RCIN 422193

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  • The son of the sculptor Charles-Jean-Baptiste Duchesne, Jean-Baptiste may have trained initially as a sculptor with his father, but his first work as a miniaturist dates to 1794, In Paris he received instruction from F.-A. Vincent and from J.-B.-J. Augustin, in the techniques of painting on ivory and enamel, and soon became very successful, exhibiting at the Salon 1802 – 42, and being appointed Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1814. His most influential patron at this period was Marie Caroline, duchesse de Berry (1798 – 1870), In 1840 Duchesne de Gisors was invited to continue the series of enamels in the Louvre by Jean Petitot. It was at this late stage in his career that he was first recommended to Queen Victoria in September 1841 by her aunt, Queen Louise of the Belgians. He produced a number of enamels for Queen Victoria during the following decade, until his advancing age brought his work for her to a close.

    A miniature on card based on the same image is also in the Royal Collection (420353). That miniature is inscribed on the reverse of the frame as being after Franz Xaver Winterhalter, but the source, if it is indeed by Winterhalter, remains unlocated. During his brief visit to Queen Victoria at Windsor Castle on 22 – 23 August 1843, the Queen commented: 'Joinville is not so handsome as I expected, but very pleasing & amiable & good, and I can easily imagine that he is a gt. favourite with his family & indeed with all who know him, but he is grown thin, & looks rather fagged & shd. not overfatigue himself; he is very deaf but understands me very well'. On his death in 1900, she wrote: 'Joinville, whom we first knew in 43, was quite charming & then very handsome. Till the last few years, he never failed to write to me for New Year, such whitty [sic], amusing letters & always sent me some pretty water colour painting by some good artist. He was an excellent artist himself' (Journal,19 June 1900).

    François d'Orléans, prince de Joinville, third son of Louis-Philippe, King of the French, was sent to naval college in 1834, promoted to captain and ultimately became a vice-admiral in the French Navy. Married in 1843 to Françoise, daughter of Pedro I, Emperor of Brazil, he followed his family into exile after the Revolution of 1848, but returned to France in 1871 and resumed his former rank of vice-admiral.

    Signed along the right edge in brown paint: Duchesne Gisors and signed and inscribed on the counter-enamel: Prince de Joinville / Duchesne de Gisors / faciebat
  • Medium and techniques

    5.2 x 4.1 cm (frame, external)

    4.7 x 3.7 cm (sight)