French painter François-Pascal-Simon Gérard was born and raised in Rome until approaching his teen years. There he was exposed to the great works of the Itlian Renaissance which influenced his work. Here is classified as a Neoclassical artist. He returned to Paris (around 1782). He studied as a teenager under several important artists, including sculptor Augustin Pajou and painter Jacques-Louis David. David emoloyed him as an assistant in the tumultuous times of Revolutionary France (1791). Gérard earned money by illustrating folio editions of literature. Miniature painter Jean-Baptiste Isabey helped him. He commissioned the portrait that launched Gérard's reputation portraitist with Parisian society (1796). His portraits were admired for their naturalism and superb characterizations. Gérard's portraits soon came to Emperor Napoleon's attention. And his court favor rivaling even David. He helped mentor Marie-Éléonore Godefroid who also gained court favor. You can see David's influence in his work, but one art historial sees a more dream-like quality. He has provided us withwonderful images from the Napoleonic and Restoration eras, including family images. Gérard was essentally apolitical and found favor in the different political regimes which convulsed France. He thus flawlessly pursued his career during despite the momentous changes. He was made a baron by King Louis XVIII and is commonly referred to as Baron Gérard. He is still regarded as one of he great painters of the age. One art historiann quips, "What matter that he is first painter to the king? He is the king of first painters." Here are a selection of portrait by Bearon Gératd that we have found.
Here is Baron Gérand's portrait of Queen Hortense of Holland the Netherlands with the princes Napoleon Louis Bonaparte (1804-31)
and Charles Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, the future Napoleon III (1808-73). The portrait was painted about 1809-10. By this time the Empeor was rethinking his carefully laid plans. He was preparing to remove his brother Louis from the Dutch throne. Napoleon had been seeking to establish Bonaparte in Europe. He had crowned himself and Joséphine in Notre Dame Emperor and Empress of France (1804). At the coronation, Princess Hortense was arayed in a stunning empire-style gown studded with diamonds. Almost all the brothers and sisters of the Emperor received a crown. His younger brother Louis Bonaparte had married Hortense, the Emperor's step-daughter. He made them King and Queen of Holland. Hortense who had just given birth to Napoleon Louis in Paris (1803) was not pleased with the news. "Do you really believe that we want to send to Holland?" she wrote her brother Eugène. "I can not think without tears to my eyes. My God, I will I will have sorrow to die!" She especially did not want to leave her mother. Napoleon ignored her complaints. The new Queen and King arrived in the Hague with their two sons. (1806). They tried to make the best of it. She told the Dutch Admiral Verhuell that she longed to be loved by the Dutch, so they could reimburse her all that she had to leave behind in France. The royal family moved into the
rather nreglected Huis ten Bosch. The last resident, William V lived in exile in Germany. King Louis began renovatin their residence. And he took an interest in improving conditions in Holland. Louis was, however, not getting on well with hus wife. The marriage was a disaster. He was jealous and began spying on Hortense. He had her letters opened and forbade her to dance at court balls. Nor could she sing and play the piano in public. She had to live like a prisoner in a gilded cage. There were heated arguments. The Royal couple suffered the loss of their oldest son, the Crown Prince Napoleon Charles (1807). There are reports that the Emperor was imprssed with the boy. The Emperor allowed her to visit France as the climate there was considered better for her other son Louis-Napoléon. She remained in France, enjoying her royal satus at the French court. Napoleon forced her to return to the Netherlands. He did not consider it suitable to have the daughter of his former wife at court. Hortense returned temporarily to the Netherlands, but was allowed to leave again on the pretext of her health. And Napoleon forced his brother to abdicate.
Here is his portrait of Louise-Antoinette-Scholastique Guéhéneuc, Madame la Maréchale Lannes, Duchesse de Montebello, with her five children (figure 1). Louise Antoinette Lannes (1782-1856) was a French courtier, dame d'honneur (Mistress of the Robes) to Empress Marie Louise of France. She was the daughter of senator and financier François Scholastique, Count of Guéhéneuc. She was the sister of general Charles Louis Joseph Olivier, Count of Guéhéneuc. The children look tobe about 4-13 yas old. The two older boys wear military styled outfits, we might say Hussaruniforms. The younger boys wear skeleton suits. Their sister and mother wears empire dresses. The portrait was dadted 1814, when the entire Napoleonic edfice was crashing down.
Zoé Victoire Talon (1785 – 1852), styled comtesse du Cayla, was an intimate friend and confidante of King Louis XVIII was his maîtresse-en-titre. She as born at Le Boullay-Thierry (1785). he was the daughter of a royal avocat, Antoine Omer Talon (1760–1811). He arranged for her to be privately educated and groomed by Madame Campan, whose school Lamartine was styled an academy of feminine diplomacy. She married the comte Baschi du Cayla (1802). They had two children seen here, Ugolin and Ugoline (figure 1). The Talons separated after prolonged, very public litigation. This brought the Comtesse to the attention of King Louis XVIII. And the Comtesse personally appealed to the King for protection from her husband. She also was supported by her the mother-in-law, who was a lady-in-waiting in the household of the comtesse de Provence, who was the titular queen of France. At Louis' court, Mme de Cayla was also the protegée of the vicomte Sosthène de La Rochefoucauld (beginning about 1817). This was at first discret, but eventually became an important comduit by which the Ultras were able to influence the aging and emotionally needy Louis XVIII. The Ultras meaning ultra royalists was mostly nobels who opposed all of the major themes of the Revolution. Louis was inclined to make some concessions. The Ultras supported Bourbon's and wanted policies to maintain the traditional hierarchy between classes, limit the suffrage, restrict the bourgeoisie and their liberal, democratic tendencies. The King lavished favours upon Mme. de Cayla, but though historians dount she ws his mistress.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Artist pages:
[Return to the Main French artist page]
[Return to the Main indvidual G-L artist page]
[Chronology] [Countries] [Individuals] [Styles]
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main Belgian page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [French glossary] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]