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An 18th Century Portrait of Louise Henriette de Bourbon

An 18th Century Portrait of Louise Henriette de Bourbon

£3,950

Circa 1750 France

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Height 36 inches (91.44 cm)
Width 30 inches (76.20 cm)
Depth 2 inches (5.08 cm)

French School, mid 18th century

A portrait of Louise Henriette de Bourbon, Duchesse de Chartres and Duchesse d'Orléans (1726-1759.

Oil on canvas; extensively inscribed verso along with Royal monograms; held in a gilt period style frame

Provenance: The French Royal Family, Chateau d’Eu

Dimensions refer to size of frame.

Louise Henriette de Bourbon, daughter of Louis Armand de Bourbon, Prince of Conti, and Louise Élisabeth de Bourbon, was born in Paris. She was the great-granddaughter of King Louis XIV of France. On December 17, 1743, she married Louis Philippe d'Orléans, Duke of Chartres, at the Palace of Versailles. The marriage produced three children; the first was a daughter who died shortly after birth; the second, Louis Philippe d’ Orléans, was known as Philippe Égalité during the French Revolution and was executed in 1793; her third child, Louise Marie Thérèse Bathilde d'Orléans, married Louis Henri II, Prince of Condé. However, none of her children were acknowledged by her father-in-law due to her scandalous behaviour, with extramarital affairs. After her father-in-law's death in 1752, her husband became the Duke of Orléans. In 1759, at the age of thirty-two, the Duchess of Orléans died at the Palais Royal.

After the abdication of Louis-Philippe in 1848, members of the Orleans family were driven into exile, some moving to England. At this time personal pictures and works of art accompanied them and over the course of time became distributed more widely either as gifts or through pernicious circumstances demanding sales.

Although not recognised as a painter in oils this work resembles closely the portraits in pastel of the artist Claude Louis Desrais (1746-1816). It is possible that he may have experimented in this medium particularly for a Royal commission and as such his authorship, whilst in doubt, cannot be ruled out.

Reference 1493

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