Les gars Choiseul

23 May 2010

Another charming faux peasant painting by Drouais, this time depicting the Comte and Chevalier de Choiseul as Savoyards. The Comte de Choiseul-Beaupré was Marie-Gabriel-Florent de Choiseul-Beaupré (1752-1817) while the Chevalier de Choiseul was his younger brother, Michel-Félix-Victor de Choiseul-Beaupré (1754-1796), the sons of Charles, Seigneur de Meuvy de Choiseul-Beaupré, the brother of the Comte de Choiseul-Beaupré and cousin of Louis XV’s minister, the Duc de Choiseul.

Their uncle, Comte de Choiseul’s heir was Claude-Antoine de Choiseul-Beaupré (b. 1760), who was raised by his uncle, the Duc de Choiseul and would marry his cousin, Marie-Stéphanie de Choiseul-Stainville on the 10th October 1778. The young couple would inherit the title of Duc and Duchesse de Choiseul on the death of their uncle.

I think that Claude-Antoine de Choiseul was the ‘dewy eyed young man’ who tried to flirt with Madame Vigée-Lebrun when she painted his portrait in the 1770s. She reported that this ‘made me very cross indeed for he had only recently married the prettiest girl imaginable.’

Madame Vigée-Lebrun also painted the Maréchal Comte de Stainville (father of Marie-Stéphanie and Françoise-Thérèse) in 1773, but I haven’t managed to locate this painting yet. I’m working on it though!

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