Portrait of Sir Sidney Smith in the Temple Prison

Philippe Auguste Hennequin French

Not on view

Like Jacques Louis David, in whose studio he had briefly studied, Hennequin was sympathetic to the republican cause and imprisoned following the fall of Robespierre, a prominent member of the Jacobin Club and influential leader of the Revolution. While incarcerated, he made the acquaintance of William Sidney Smith, a commodore, and later admiral, in the British Navy who had been captured near Le Havre and would stage a daring escape two years later. Here, although the scene is calm—with the sitter shown in his naval uniform, gazing calmly out the barred window—Hennequin’s technique vibrates with energy. The forms are delineated and modeled in brown ink, with a distinctive mix of dots, parallel lines, and springy curlicues.

Portrait of Sir Sidney Smith in the Temple Prison, Philippe Auguste Hennequin (Lyon 1762–1833 Leuze, near Tournai), Pen and brown ink over black chalk

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