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This item is up for auction at Catawiki. Please click on "respond to advert" to get redirected to the Catawiki website. Former student of Jean François Pierre Peyron, Nicolas-André Monsiau entered the Academy as a painter of history in 1787 and graduated two years later. Painter of mythological, historical (Louis XVI donnant les instructions au capitaine de La Pérouse, 1817) or modern works, notably Le Consulte de la République cisalpine in 1802 commissioned by Napoléon for the Tuileries in 1806.In this monumental painting, the artist showed himself a talented portraitist, as several characters were drawn from life. On three occasions, in 1791, 1808 and 1810, the artist presented isolated portraits at the Salon, but without ever seeking a career as a portraitist.This work was surely a private production, like the self-portrait of the artist in 1827 (Louvre, inv. FR 186) or the portrait of the painter Pierre Bouillon, young student Monsiau (private collection). It is difficult to trace the identity of this magistrate in official dress and different elements confirm the date of 1811 noted alongside the signature in the work. The black hat with two silver gallons was worn only by the Président du tribunal de grande instance or the Procureur de la République at solemn hearings or public ceremonies. This outfit was adopted by a decree of July 7th, 1811.Moving by its realism and the smile sketched on this man's lips, it is a warm portrait. The profession of this man could make the portrait severe, but the colours used by Monsiau, with the blue moiré silk and the red ribbon, make it quite the opposite. The neutral background, the scenery consisting only of a chair and a small table, as well as the quality of execution make this a work of importance among Empire era portraits.Note that a portrait of a woman, by the same artist, dated 1816, sold in November 2017 in Paris for €22 750.Relined canvas. 22865903

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