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Title Madame de Lamartine Adopting the Children of Patriots Slain at the Barricades in Paris during the Revolution of 1848
Collection Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle
Artist Compte-Calix, François Claudius (French painter and lithographer, 1813-1880)
Date 1848 (dated)
Signed yes
Description In a Paris ravaged by the street fighting of the Revolution of 1848, the sun falls on Madame de Lamartine (the wife of the eponymous Romantic poet) holding the hand of a child. She is followed by a seemingly enormous group of orphans, whom, it is implied, she has taken under her wing. This anecdote however appears to have been invented by the artist, as there is no record of such an episode to be found. The subject corresponded well to Mme de Lamartine's character, as her husband was a key figure in the Revolution of 1848 and the couple were known for their great generosity.
Current Accession Number B.M.470
Former Accession Number No. 627; No. 123
Inscription front ll 'F. Compte-Calix 1848'
Subject history (Revolution of 1848); portrait (Lamartine, Marianne-Elisa); figure; place (Paris)
Measurements 81.5 x 99.5 cm (estimate)
Material oil on canvas
Acquisition Details Bequeathed by the founders John and Joséphine Bowes 1885.
Provenance Bought by the Bowes through Mme Lepautre, 20 June 1868, 175 francs.
Publications Conran, E., et al, The Bowes Museum, London, 1992, pp. 82-83, fig. 2.
Notes This painting is listed as no. 627 in John Bowes' catalogue, under the following description: 'Episode of the Revolution in 1848. Mme Lamartine adopting the Children of the Men killed on the Barricades'. He noted that the painting was signed and dated 1850. This painting is listed in Joséphine Bowes' own list of artists living in 1866, no. 123, under the title 'Scène dans la Cour de l'Hôtel de Ville. Madame Lamartine adoptant les Enfants des Gens tués aux Barricades'. She gave it a value of 800 francs. A biography of Lamartine, (de Mirecourt, E., Lamartine, Paris, 1854), notes that Mme de Lamartine was English. The author also mentions several anecdotes about Lamartine's generosity and that of his wife, stating: 'Elle a toujours été aussi bonne, aussi généreuse, aussi grande que lui' (p. 90). Compte-Calix was a regular exhibitor at the Salon, where he showed portraits, romantic genre scenes and anecdotal historical scenes.
Rights Owner The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, Co. Durham
Author Dr Maylis Hopewell-Curie
 

 

 

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