Monday, December 22, 2014

The Last Portraits of Marie-Antoinette - Kucharski

From Rodama:
Born in Warsaw in 1741, the son of a history painter and portraitist,  Alexander-Albert Kucharski had followed his father into the artistic profession and been sent to Paris to study by King Stanislaw August Poniatowski, who awarded him a pension and placed him under the profection of his correspondent Madame Geoffrin.  Kucharski won several prizes at the Académie royale de peinture and from 1762 frequented the ateliers of Vien and Van Loo. Contrary to the wishes of his patron who wished him to specialise in history painting, he became a portraitist, thereby freeing himself to remain in Paris and seek work in aristocratic circles.  He joined the household of the prince de Condé at Chantilly and in 1776 was described as painter and drawing master to Louise Adélaïde, princesse de Bourbon-Condé. He was residing by this time in the rue de Grenelle in the fashionable Faubourg Saint-Germain. Though the princesse  he would have had ample opportunity  to meet the comtesse de Boufflers, the princesse de Polignac and other members of Marie-Antoinette's immediate entourage.  He was subsequently employed the prince de Carignan and his sister, the princesse de Lamballe.  Having produced portraits of Madame Elisabeth and the comte d'Artois, in 1789 he succeeded Elisabeth Vignée Le Brun as painter to the Queen herself. According to a note on the back of a portrait Kucharski painted the Marie-Antoinette for the first time in 1780. (Read more.)

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