François Pascal Simon GERARD (Rome 1770 - Paris 1837)

Lot 147
Go to lot
Estimation :
250000 - 350000 EUR
Result with fees
Result : 1 314 220EUR
François Pascal Simon GERARD (Rome 1770 - Paris 1837)
# Portrait of Charles Ferdinand Théodore de Vassinhac d'Imécourt On its original canvas 210 x 135 cm In its gilded wood frame with palmettes from the Empire period Provenance : - Gédéon Charles de Vassinhac d'Imécourt collection, brother of the model. The painting was in the castle of Louppy sur Loison (Meuse) until 1872 - Collection of his daughter, Charlotte Juliette de Béthune - Sully, Paris, Hôtel de Béthune - Sully, in 1872 - Collection of his daughter, Louise d'Hinnisdal, née de Béthune - Sully, Paris, Hôtel de Béthune - Sully, from 1897 - Always remained in the family Bibliography : - H. Gérard, Letters addressed to Baron François Gérard, history painter by artists and famous people of his time. Second edition. Published by Baron Gérard his nephew and preceded by a notice on the life and works of François Gérard, vol. II, Paris, 1888, p. 405; - Catalog of the exhibition François Gérard portraitiste, Fontainebleau, Château, 2014, cited p. 229 and p. 230 ; Abbé Mugnier, Journal, edition consulted Paris, 2021, pp. 400 - 401, cites a visit on July 17, 1922; - C. Blumenfeld, "Réapparition d'un bel inconnu peint par Gérard", Gazette de l'Hôtel Drouot, n° 39, Paris, 2022, pp.14 - 16, reproduced ; - P. Dufour, "François Gérard, au vent de l'Histoire", Gazette de l'Hôtel Drouot, n° 39, Paris, 2022, p. 8, reproduced Known only to visitors to the Parisian mansion where our painting was kept (Abbé Mugnier gave an amusing description of it on July 17, 1922), its existence was known by its mention in the list of works by François Gérard drawn up by his nephew Henri in 1886, and by the existence of a small reduction in the Versailles museum. After his death in 1837, there was a sale of the painter's studio with a series of 84 sketches after Gérard or retouched by him, souvenirs of the artist's great paintings. This sale was accompanied by a few engravings by a certain Pierre Michel Adam, including ours. This modest work was enough to trigger the emotion of Goethe who made a dazzling commentary on it in his writings on Art in 1816, Ueber Kunst und Altherhum (see Conversations of Goethe during the last years of his life: 1822-1832, volume II, "Painting", Paris, 1863, pp.479-480) : FERDINAND IMECOURT, ORDERLY OF MARSHAL LEFÈVRE, KILLED BEFORE DANTZIG IN 1807 (PAINTED IN 1808). Therefore from memory or from a sketch. This portrait contains a curious opposition. The military career of this man indicates a soul eager for useful activity; his death proves his bravery; yet all these traits of character, under the civil clothing, preserve the incognito. His air, his clothing are those of an elegant man; he is preparing to climb the stairs of a garden pavilion; his left hand is inclined and holds his hat; his right hand is leaning on a cane; it seems that he has just seen one of his friends approaching. The features of his face are those of an intelligent and calm man; he is of medium height, slim, delicate. - In the world we would have taken him for a diplomat, and it is a happy thought to have placed in the middle of these famous men who belong to history the noble and beautiful prose of the passing day. Born on July 16, 1785 in Paris, Ferdinand d'Imécourt was the youngest of three children. His father was orphaned when he was less than a year old, and his mother died when he was barely twelve years old. He was raised by his maternal family, especially his grandmother Agnès Thérèse de Chauvelin, née Mazade. It is probably under the influence of his maternal uncle Bernard François de Chauvelin, trusted man of Louis Bonaparte, that he joined the Napoleonic army. Volunteering at the age of twenty in 1805 for the Dutch campaign, Ferdinand d'Imécourt experienced a rapid and promising advancement. In 1807, he was Marshal Lefebvre's orderly and died prematurely on April 13, 1807 during the siege of Danzig. He is buried in the southern part of the cathedral of Oliwa (about 12 km from Danzig), where a Latin stele still stands mentioning him. This was one of the last burials inside a church, since the Napoleonic code in force in the Grand Duchy of Warsaw prohibited this practice. During the siege of Danzig, the cathedral of Oliwa served as a field hospital for the French army. Wounded during a sortie at nine o'clock in the evening, he died at six o'clock in the morning at the age of twenty-one years and nine months. The port city of Danzig (Gdansk), key to trade between Holland and England, was of central interest to Napoleon's plans. It was taken by the Grand Army, composed of French, Polish and Baden troops, after a siege that lasted from March 7 to May 26, 1807. The heart of Ferdinand d'Imécourt was brought back to France by his friend Albert de Noai
My orders
Sale information
Sales conditions
Return to catalogue