Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Alexandre Théodore Victor (1760–1829), Comte de Lameth

Jean Urbain Guérin (French, 1761–1836)
ca. 1789–90
Ivory laid on card
Diameter 3 in. (75 mm)
Credit Line:
Rogers Fund, 1961
Accession Number:
Not on view
Born in Strasbourg, Guérin moved to Paris in 1785 and may have been a pupil of the pastelist Mlle Huin, who exhibited at the Salon from 1796 until 1801. In the wake of the Neoclassical revival, he painted a number of miniatures en camaïeu. Leaving Paris during the Revolution, he returned during the Consulate and became a member of Isabey's studio, a course that affected his later style. He exhibited at the Salon from 1798 until 1827. Guérin died in Obernay, Alsace, where he had moved in 1821.

The back is glazed to reveal an inscription in ink written over an erased earlier inscription: Adre de Lameth - / par Guérin / député et orateur / à l'Assemblée Constituante / 1760–1829. In the autumn of 1789 Guérin began work on a series of miniatures of the most prominent deputies of the French National Assembly. These were engraved by Franz Gabriel Fiessinger (1752–1807). An engraving by Fiessinger of Lameth, after a drawing by Guérin dated November 20, 1790, shows the sitter in profile (Bayard Tuckerman, Life of General Lafayette, New York, 1901, vol. 3, ill. opp. p. 95 [facsimile]). The identification of this sitter is further confirmed by the portrait of Lameth by Jean Michel Moreau le jeune (1741–1814). Alexandre, comte de Lameth, had a distinguished political and military career. He was deputy for Peronne at the Assemblée Nationale in 1789; he was elected president of the Assemblée Nationale in 1790. Lameth served briefly as a brigadier general under Lafayette in 1792.

[2016; adapted from Reynolds and Baetjer 1996]
Inscription: Signed (left, in brown): J.Guerin. f.
Madame Levaigneur (until d.; her estate sale, Hôtel Drouot, Paris, May 2–4, 1912, no. 229); [Alfred Joseph, London, until 1961; sold to MMA]
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1996–January 5, 1997, no. 171.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "In Miniature," August 29–December 28, 2014, no catalogue.

Graham Reynolds with the assistance of Katharine Baetjer. European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, pp. 12, 14, 149, no. 171, colorpl. 171 and ill. p. 149.

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