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Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin-? "Artist's parents-in-law", miniature on ivory, ca.1805
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This very fine quality miniature could be an Augustin's own (partial) replica of his group miniature portrait in collection of the Louvre (see our first additional image). Our version shows only two persons from the original group of six members of Augustin's family, namely, the artist's parents-in-law, Germain De Cruet, Chevalier de Barailhon and Anne Madelaine De Cruet, nee Cornu de la Fontaine - parents of Mle Pauline De Cruet (whom the artist married on July 8th 1800 at Fussigny - their estate location). Mr. Germain De Cruet served at that time at court: he was one of King Louis XVI's secretaries.
A large drawing with the same subject as the Louvre version belongs to collection of the City Art Museum in St. Louis/USA.
Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin (1759 Saint-Die/Vosgues - 1832 Paris) called himself "the pupil of nature and meditation", and although he had some lessons in painting from Claudiot in Nancy, his talent was really personal, and there was no artist at least in France, on whom he could model himself.
In 1781, he arrived in Paris, where he was received by the Pinchon family, friends of his parents. Their portraits painted by Augustin made him known quickly and secured him with other commissions. The artist gained fame quite rapidly.
Augustin and Isabey were the two greatest French miniaturists of the late 18th - early 19th centuries, and it would be difficult to say who was a better one. They are as different as could be; in modern terminology, one could call Augustin "the naturalist" and Isabey - "the impressionist". Both had a very great number of pupils, and because of that a considerable influence on the art of the miniature in their period. Amongst the best pupils of Augustin can be mentioned his wife Madeleine Pauline (nee Ducruet) who surpasses them all: Fanny Charin, Le Tellier, Fontallard, Alexandre, Delatour, G.E. Lami, Sieurac, Mme Dalacazette, Mlle Hue de Breval, and Mme de Mirbel. Napoleon had a marked preference for Isabey. In spite of that he nominated Augustin official painter of the Imperial Court. At the restoration Louis XVIII made him painter in ordinary of his cabinet, and in 1821 he became Chevalier of the Legion d'Honneur. In 1820 he went to London to carry out a number of orders, but he does not seem to have remained there very long. He died of cholera in Paris in 1832.
Provenance: private collection, Germany
Creation Year: ca. 1805
Measurements:UNFRAMED:6,2x6,2cm/2,4x2,4in FRAMED: 14,0x14,0cm/5,5x5,5in
Object Type:Framed miniature
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: watercolor on ivory
Inscription:verso: old legend
Creator: Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin
Creator Dates: 1759 Saint-Die/Vosgues-1832 Paris
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