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François Grenier de Saint-Martin (1793-1867) - Self-portrait of the artist
François Grenier de Saint-Martin (1793-1867) - Self-portrait of the artist - Paintings & Drawings Style Restauration - Charles X
Ref : 94810
35 000 €
Period :
19th century
Artist :
François Grenier de Saint-Martin (1793-1867)
Provenance :
Medium :
Oil on canvas
Dimensions :
L. 24.41 inch X l. 19.69 inch
Paintings & Drawings  - François Grenier de Saint-Martin (1793-1867) - Self-portrait of the artist
Galerie de Frise

Ancient portrait painting

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François Grenier de Saint-Martin (1793-1867) - Self-portrait of the artist

(Paris 1793 - Paris 1867)
Self-portrait of the artist
Oil on canvas
H. 62 cm ; L. 50 cm (view)
Signed and dated lower left - 1823

Exhibition: Paris Salon of 1824, under the number 819, titled Portrait of Mr. G***

Provenance : his daughter Alix (Paris, 1832 - Marseille, 1902), then by inheritance

Son of a former colonist of Saint-Domingue, François (or Francisque-Martin) Grenier de Saint-Martin was first trained by Guérin, who helped him make such rapid progress that he began exhibiting at the Salon at a very young age, with an Atala in 1810 for which he received a medal; he was then a pupil of Jacques-Louis David.
After producing portraits and battles at the beginning of his career, he then specialized in picturesque genre scenes: representations of sailors on land, peasant and hunting scenes... the latter making him very popular thanks to their diffusion through lithography. Although he was an admirer of Napoleon, he was favored by the Bourbons, notably the Duchess of Berry who owned several of his works. He then received commissions from Louis-Philippe for the Battle Gallery in Versailles, was made a knight of the Legion of Honor in 1841, and Napoleon III bought hunting paintings from him at the 1857 Salon.
His two sons Henri and Yves were also painters and exhibited at the Salon from 1857.

His style, sometimes close to that of Auguste-Xavier Leprince, is quite easily recognizable. The critics evoked "a brilliant coloring, a free touch, light and fresh backgrounds", and Charles-Paul Landon wrote in particular: "... a naivety of expression that he knows how to preserve in his characters... kind, simple and easy execution... color, if not always strong, at least always true". Some of his colleagues, like Rémond, called upon him to realize the figures of their paintings.

This magnificent self-portrait, preserved in its original frame, is both a neo-classical Davidian portrait with its elegant sobriety, and a Romantic style in full bloom at the time: a slightly pale complexion, hair styled naturally, somewhat disheveled, dark eyes and beauty of the model. It is reminiscent of the portrait of Chateaubriand by Girodet presented at the Salon of 1810, even if Grenier appears here more as an elegant dandy than a tormented poet.
There is another presumed full-length self-portrait of Grenier, probably done several years earlier (around 1815?), in which the large dark eyes, the rather full eyebrows and the well-defined mouth are recognizable, though with a wiser hairstyle.
The date of execution of our work may correspond to Grenier's marriage to Angélique Foignet (1800-1879), possibly the daughter of the harpist musician Jacques Foignet (1753-1836), since his first son, Henri, was born in 1825. Her daughter Alix married in 1849 Antoine Frédéric Hippolyte Damoreau, the son of an opera singer; as a widow, she remarried in 1860 to the painter Charles-Henri Gosselin (1833-1892), who was also curator at Versailles and Trianon.

This painting can be seen in Paris.

Galerie de Frise


19th Century Oil Painting Restauration - Charles X