Mme Jeanne Doucet de Surigny (née Glaesner) (French, active 1791-1806) A rare miniature by the artist, possibly portraying the three children of Lord Robert Seymour (1748-1831) in a rocky landscape: the boy, seated, holding two flowers in his left hand, his right arm around his younger sibling, wearing buff breeches, brown frock coat and white chemise with frilled collar; the youngest child, seated and wearing white chemise, handling flowers gathered by the eldest sibling, a girl, wearing teal blue dress and white chemise with frilled trim

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Lot 85Y
Mme Jeanne Doucet de Surigny
(née Glaesner) (French, active 1791-1806)
A rare miniature by the artist, possibly portraying the three children of Lord Robert Seymour (1748-1831) in a rocky landscape: the boy, seated, holding two flowers in his left hand, his right arm around his younger sibling, wearing buff breeches, brown frock coat and white chemise with frilled collar; the youngest child, seated and wearing white chemise, handling flowers gathered by the eldest sibling, a girl, wearing teal blue dress and white chemise with frilled trim

Sold for £ 5,000 (US$ 6,690) inc. premium
Mme Jeanne Doucet de Surigny (née Glaesner) (French, active 1791-1806)
A rare miniature by the artist, possibly portraying the three children of Lord Robert Seymour (1748-1831) in a rocky landscape: the boy, seated, holding two flowers in his left hand, his right arm around his younger sibling, wearing buff breeches, brown frock coat and white chemise with frilled collar; the youngest child, seated and wearing white chemise, handling flowers gathered by the eldest sibling, a girl, wearing teal blue dress and white chemise with frilled trim.
Signed on the obverse Mlle Glaesner, gilt-mounted on rectangular wooden frame.
Circular, 72mm (2 13/16in) high

Footnotes

  • A later handwritten label to the reverse of the miniature reads, '3 children of Lord Seymour'. The present lot pre-dates the year of Mlle Glaesner's marriage in 1785 and so the children portrayed are likely to have been born during the late 1770s-early 1780s.

    Of the thirteen children born to Francis Seymour-Conway, 1st Marquess of Hertford (1718–1794), Lord Robert Seymour's children would appear to be the more likely identifications. His first born child, Elizabeth (1775-1848) was followed by a son, Henry (c.1776–1843) and another daughter, Frances Isabella (d.1838).

    Doucet de Surigny exhibited under her maiden name until 1791 from which time she exhibited as, 'Mme de Surigny'. During the Reign of Terror, the artist signed her work, 'La Citoyenne Doucet'. It was under this name that she painted a portrait of Jean Nicolas Billaud-Varenne (1756-1819) of the revolutionary Jacobin Club in 1791. Billaud-Varenne was elected a deputy of Paris to the National Convention the following year. Mme de Surigny's work, particularly that pre-dating her marriage, is extremely rare (see N. Lemoine-Bouchard, Les Peintres en miniature 1650-1850, 2008, p.199). She is most famous for a portrait miniature of the Citoyenne Candeille shown at the Salon de Paris in 1796. Candeille was an actress at the Théâtre de la République. Doucet de Surigny portrayed her wearing a striped dress and a red belt, writing her second opera, 'La Bayadère' otherwise known as 'Le Français à Surate'. Candeille cast herself in the title role and the opera debuted in January 1795, but it was not received as well as the actress had hoped. Another portrait miniature of Candeille writing her play, 'Ernest ou la Fatalité' by the artist appeared at the Brussels exhibition of 1912, (no.711) (see L. Schidlof, The Miniature in Europe, In the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, 1964, vol.I, p.210).

    Mme Doucet de Surigny had a very international clientele predominantly formed of the mercantile class whose work enabled them to have their portraits painted while stationed in Paris. Little is known about her husband, only that he was a banker who was imprisoned in 1793. The couple had quite a hectic lifestyle and moved around frequently, eventually settling at number 6, Faubourg in Montmatre, a fashionable location favoured by artists. Between the year 1791, when her career really took off and 1806, there are four addresses recorded for the artist. She exhibited at the Artistes Libres in 1791 and at the Salon de Paris between 1793 and 1806.
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