Portrait of Médéric Moreau de Saint-Méry
Louise Chaceré de Beaurepaire (news 1766-1833)
1812, Oil on copper
This miniature portrait bears the date 1812 and is signed by the artist, the gifted painter Louise de Beaurepaire, who made her debut at the 1798 Louvre Salon as a pupil of Jean-Baptiste-Jacques Augustin. She also exhibited there in 1799 and in the following year, then much later, in 1827 and 1833, under her husband's surname, Gaillard. She also lived in London and Bath, and signed her name at exhibitions as both Mademoiselle de Beaurepaire and Madame de Beaurepaire. She was a skilful portraitist and portrayed Médéric Moreau de Saint-Méry, a politician and man of letters, with refined technique in oil on copper. The well-known diplomat is depicted at the age of seventy-two, at a time when he was having financial and psychological difficulties after having spent his life in service of the law: both in Martinique, where he was born, and in France and Italy (as administrator of the duchy of Parma, a role from which he was relieved by Napoleon in 1805). He had retired from public life in 1806 and Louis XVIII saved from destitution by giving him a stipend.