Charlemagne Oscar GUËT
(Meaux, 1801 – Paris, 1871)
Full-length portrait of Vittoria Caldoni in Albano regional costume
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated lower left
46 x 38 cm
Exhibition: Villa Vauban, (Luxembourg): Portrait(s) of a collector, 2000/2001, n° 61, p. 70 (reproduced)
Charlemagne Oscar Guët was born on February 24, 1801, in Meaux. The son of a carpenter, he successfully entered the École des Beaux-Arts on October 30, 1820, and followed the teachings of Hersent then Horace Vernet. He started at the Salon in 1819. He sent portraits, genre scenes and some still lifes there. He also participated in several provincial exhibitions (Valenciennes, Lille, Douai, Boulogne-sur-Mer, Mulhouse, Lyon, Rouen, etc.). He made his last shipment in 1850. Oscar was distinguished several times at the Paris Salon: third class in 1824, second class in 1832 and first class in 1839. He was made a knight of the Legion of Honor in 1846. The artist died on November 29, 1871, in Paris and was buried in the Montparnasse cemetery.
Oscar Guët married Marie Sophie Gaspard (1798-1867) with whom they had two children:
- Marie Gabrielle Guët (1823-?) who married the Lorraine artist Charles Gomien (1808-1876) on November 5, 1842,
- Clément Oscar Guët (1825-1894), future administrator of the Compagnie Parisienne du Gaz
Museums: Versailles, Ottawa, Tatihou, Bayonne, Douai…
Vittoria Candida Rosa Caldoni (Albano, 1805 – Russia, around 1872) was a particularly popular model among Nazarene artists but also for French academic artists passing through Rome between 1820 and 1830. Horace Vernet, master of Oscar Guët, made it moreover also the portrait during their stay in Rome. In 1822, Vittoria was 17 years old.
The sixth of nine children born into a humble wine-growing family in Albano and one of five who survived to adulthood, she was "unearthed" by August Kestner, diplomat and art collector, and brought to Rome to work as a model around the age of fifteen. This proved very profitable for his parents, allowing them to move into more comfortable accommodation and begin renting rooms to passing travelers, mainly artists. One of their tenants was an aspiring Ukrainian painter named Grigory Ignatevich Lapchenko. Vittoria married him in 1839 and emigrated with him to Russia, where they apparently had at least one son. Grigori fell seriously ill. He therefore had to abandon his plan to become a painter and worked as a minor government official. As his life in Russia is not well documented, we do not have reliable information regarding the date and place of his death.
Artists considered her the ideal female figure. She was generally represented either in allegorical dress, often with attributes referring to representations of the Madonna, or in regional Italian costume.
Delevery information :
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