Offered by Galerie de Frise
Alexis Joseph PÉRIGNON
(Paris 1806 - 1882)
Portrait of General Louis Le Bon Desmottes (1789-1852)
Oil on canvas
H. 116 cm ; L. 89 cm
Signed lower right, dated 1861
Grandson and son of a painter, Alexis Joseph Jean Pérignon was naturally a pupil of his father Alexis Nicolas Pérignon (1785-1864,), himself a pupil of Girodet, avid collector and merchant, expert and then curator of royal museums. Later, the artist joined the workshop of Baron Gros where he completed his apprenticeship.
Pérignon fils began professionally by taking over from his father between 1829 and 1832 by participating as an expert in the publication of public sales catalogs.
Artistically, he was first a restorer of old paintings, then a genre painter who was quickly recognized by the French and foreign beau monde for his talents as a portraitist in the manner of Ingres; this led him to spend two years working in St. Petersburg during the years 1852 and 1853.
Pérignon exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1834 to 1881, winning a third class medal in 1836, a second class medal in 1838 and a first class medal in 1844.
In 1856, the painter was appointed at the same time director of the École des Beaux-Arts and of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Dijon. The same year, he was made a knight of the Legion of Honor (officer in 1870). He resigned from both positions in 1859.
Major General Louis Le Bon Desmottes was born in Maubeuge in 1789. He started his career in 1806 as a gendarme of the Imperial Guard. He participated in numerous battles under the Emperor's orders and climbed the ranks to finish his service with three stars. He died in Verdun in 1852.
The town of Bar le Duc has another portrait of General Le Bon Desmottes, painted by Henri Bordeau in 1847. The composition is extremely close, but has many variations with our painting, which was done fifteen years later, and after the death of the model. Pérignon clearly used this portrait by Bordeau as a basis for his painting and created a much more refined version. His knowledge that these two large portraits were in two branches of the family, and ours until recently.
Some slight lack of pictorial material that does not disturb the reading of the work. Nevertheless, these few retouches can be made on request.