Augustin Christian RITT (Saint Petersburg 1765-1799)
Portrait of François-Charles-Paulin DESMAISIERES (1764- 1797).
Miniature on ivory, with silver bezel.
3,8 x 4,6 cm
- Unpublished, only known by a mention in the handwritten catalog, in the artist's hand, at number 206: "Messieurs Deméziere deux frères"
- In the model's descendants until the beginning of the 21st century
Our proud portrait in miniature is a precious testimony of the early career of Augustin RITT, born in St. Petersburg, son of a first violinist playing in the orchestra of the Imperial Court of Russia.
Between 1781 and 1785, he studied in Antwerp in the studio of the portraitist Andréas Bernardus de QUERTENMONT (1750-1835). He then settled in Paris, from 1787 to 1792, in the studio of François-André VINCENT, before returning to Saint Petersburg, where he led an exceptional career.
In the handwritten catalog that the artist kept throughout his life to record the names of all his models, appears, at number 206 the name of "Messieurs Deméziere deux frères", with an approximate spelling.
They were two brothers of an honorable family of French Hainaut: Charles-François-Paulin and Rudecindo.
Charles-François-Paulin DESMAISIERES (or Desmaizères), squire, lord of Monchaux, born in Madrid, baptized in the church of St.-Martin on June 22, 1764, died in the church of St.-Martin on June 22, 1764.Martin on June 22, 1764, died in Paris on June 25, 1797, ensign in the Walloon Guards on March 13, 1777, lieutenant on March 27, 1788, resigned on September 24, 1789, son of François-Joseph-Albert DESMAISIERES, baron of St. Martin, brigadier of the armies of His Majesty the Catholic, then colonel of cavalry.
His wife, Olympe, Constance, Catherine MORIN d'ARFEUILLE (Ypres 1766-1851 Brussels) was also portrayed by RITT (see next lot).
It is not to be excluded that the commission was part of this recent marriage. They were the parents of four children. Among them : Léandre DESMAISIERES (1794-1864), Belgian statesman, parliamentarian, minister of Finance, governor of East Flanders.
To date, this is therefore the oldest known miniature by the artist's hand.
- Galina Nikolaevna Komelova, Augustin Ritt, Russian miniaturist (1765-1799), Saint Petersburg, 2004, p. 186, mentioned at no. 206.
-Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard, Les peintres en miniature actifs en France, 1650-1850, Paris, 2008, p.439.
- Raeymackers, " Augustin Ritt ", in L'intermédiaire des chercheurs et curieux, n°1571, Paris, 1922, p.979.
- Arthur Merghelynck, Recueil de généalogies inédites de Flandre, Bruges, 1877, p. 365-367.
- François Alexandre Aubert de la Chenaye Desbois, Dictionnaire de la noblesse, volume 14, Paris, 1770, p. 170-176.
- After Augustin Christian RITT (St. Petersburg 1765-1799), ACAR, French school of the early 19th century,
Portrait of Rudecindo DESMAISIERES (?-?).
Miniature in ivory, signed lower right and dated 1839, with silver frame.
4,5 x 3,6 cm.
This miniature was most probably made in 1839 after the original by RITT described under n°206, on the occasion of a family sharing. Rudecindo, younger brother of Charles-François-Paulin, brother-in-law of Olympe MORIN D'ARFEUILLE, was Lieutenant of the Grenadiers of the Walloon Guard, in 1788.