French school of the 18th century, pair of portraits representing the Dauphin Louis of France and the Dauphine Marie Josephe de Saxe. Oil on canvas in their original carved and gilt oak frame. Attributed to the workshop of Roslin, circa 1770.
Several portraits of the Dauphin by Roslin dated 1765 are known, a pastel in the Palace of Versailles where the Prince is presented in the same configuration and another where he is represented in the uniform of Colonel General of the Dragons.
As for the Dauphine, several hypotheses have been put forward concerning the author of the original work: Maurice Quentin de la Tour, Jean Marc Nattier, Jean Martial Frédou or Roslin.
What is certain, however, is that our two portraits were done together and by the same hand. The quality of their realization, the similarity with other works of Roslin in comparison with other "softer" copies and finally their prestigious provenance suggests that our portraits could have come out of Roslin's workshop in the 1770s.
Our royal portraits represent a future monarch couple who never reigned.
The Dauphin Louis of France (1729-1765) was the son of King Louis XV and was the father of three Kings of France: Louis XVI, Louis XVIII and Charles X. He was a very pious man, chaste, sober and faithful to his wife, concerned about the good education of his children. Thus, his sons, in particular the Duke of Burgundy, were too imbued with their birth, he made them show the register of their baptism. Pointing out that the act mentioning them is the same as those of the children of the less privileged classes, the dauphin teaches his sons: "We are all equal before God in birth and in death. Only our actions make us different from one another. You will one day be greater than these children in the esteem of the people; but they themselves will be greater before God if they are more virtuous." He died of Tuberculosis in 1765 before he could reign. His wife, who had watched over him during his illness, contracted the disease and followed him to the grave two years later.
Marie Josephe de Saxe (1731-1767) was the second wife of the Dauphin. Renowned for her intelligence, her gentleness and her uprightness, she formed with her husband a couple whose beginnings were difficult but which became one of the most harmonious in the history of France. Through the intrigues of the court, the dauphine managed to make herself loved by all, as she was intelligent, gentle and loving.
Alexander Roslin or Alexandre Roslin, (1718 - 1793) in Paris, is a Swedish painter, portraitist of the European aristocracy of the mid-eighteenth century. From the years 1750-1793, he painted mainly in Paris. We know him for the two portraits of the Dauphin in 1765, from which ours is taken.
Provenance: large Lorraine collection, in the same family since at least 1820. On the back a label indicates that these portraits would come from the prestigious and rich abbey of Remiremont in the Vosges. It was probably this institution that commissioned this pair of portraits from Roslin's workshop in the 1770s.
Our portraits were included in the exhibition "Voltaire and the Kings" organized at the end of 2021 by the Centre des Monuments Nationaux at the Chateau de Voltaire in Fernay Voltaire with the support of Franck Ferrand.
Very good condition, paintings cleaned on their original canvas. Original frame in carved and gilded wood of Louis XVI period cleaned by our gilder.
dimensions of the frame 78,5x69cm
dimensions of the frame 60x51cm