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Antoine Dominique Logerot (1776-1844) - Portrait of an Infantry Officer
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Antoine Dominique Logerot (1776-1844) - Portrait of an Infantry Officer

Signed and dated 1814

Measurements: Overall: 60cm (23.5in) x 49.5cm (19.5in)

£3600

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Oil on canvas head and shoulders portrait of an officer of the 101e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne.

The sitter wears the blue 1812 pattern infantry officer's coatee with red collar, and white lapels fastened down with regimentally numbered gilt buttons. His pair of gold bullion wire epaulettes indicate the rank of lieutenant or captain.

After Napoleon's escape on 1 March 1815 and the launch of his bid to recover his empire (the Hundred Days), the sitter would have found himself living through a period of extreme political and military uncertainty. To the consternation of the confederation of opposing European powers, Napoleonic veterans, conscripts and volunteers were rapidly being deployed for the defence of the homeland against enemies, foreign and domestic. Famously, Napoleon and L'Armée du Nord moved against Wellington and Blücher to fight the Waterloo campaign, while all remaining forces prepared to delay invaders and suppress Bourbon opposition from within.

The sitter’s regiment, the 101e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne was assigned to V Corps in General Rapp's Army of the Rhine centered on Strasbourg for the defence of the eastern frontier. The 101st garrisoned the fortified town of Neuf-Brisach - the defences of which had been laid out by the celebrated military engineer  Vauban in 1698. Here they were cut-off by Austrian and German invasion forces led by Field Marshal Karl Philipp, Prince of Schwarzenberg, who hoped to effect a juncture with the Russians at Nancy. However, despite the best efforts of Schwarzenberg and the rest, it was the news of Waterloo and the capture of Paris by British and Prussian troops that led finally led to the Suspension of Hostilities on 24 July 1815.

By that time the sitter in the present portrait may well have considered himself a fortunate survivor of the Napoleonic adventure. During the period 1804-1815, the 101e Regiment d'Infanterie lost seventeen officers killed; six died of wounds and seventy-five wounded. Moreover its campaigns included Spain, 1811-1814; Germany, 1813 (whence it gained battle honours for Bautzen and Hanau); Italy, 1814; and France, 1814-1815.

The painter Antoine Dominique Logerot (born in Andélancourt (Haute Marne), 1776, died at Rennes, 1844) was a portraitist, art historian, and later the curator of the Musée des beaux-arts de Rennes, for which he produced a copy portrait of the restored Bourbon King Louis XVIII after Baron François Gérard. This no doubt serving as a public declaration of new found loyalties.

Sources:

Historique du 101e Regiment d'Infanterie de Ligne (1875)

Catalogue du Musée de Peinture, Sculpture et Dessins de la ville de Rennes (1860)

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