Jean-Charles Tardieu

di Stephen Ongpin

Jean-Charles Tardieu, called Tardieu-Cochin (1765-1830), Portrait of the Artist’s Son. Black chalk, with stumping. Partly inscribed De Jean-Charles Tardieu / Portrait de son fils [illegible] on the backing board. 156 mm. diameter. Jean-Charles Tardieu was from a family of eminent engravers. Breaking with family tradition, Jean-Charles trained as a history painter, maintaining a successful career through the successive upheavals and regime changes of the time and regularly exhibiting important paintings at the Salons. He enjoyed the patronage of Napoleon, Louis XVIII and Charles X, and received official commissions for such imperial and royal residences as the palaces of Luxembourg, Versailles, Saint-Cloud and Fontainebleau.

Drawings by Tardieu are rare. The cherubic young boy in this charming portrait drawing, which may be dated to between c.1805 and 1810, is one of the artist’s three sons; either Alexandre, born in 1803, Jules Romain, born in 1805, or Armand-Louis, born in 1807.

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