The half-length Portrait of Louise-Antoinette Feuardent is a work of great sobriety and restraint, but also subtle allure. With her head tilted forward and arms folded at her waist so that her ring finger is accentuated, the sitter’s pose is, for a bourgeois woman of the period, fittingly demure, but her outward gaze is direct and frank, riveting the viewer’s attention. Her pale face, neck, and hand are firmly modeled, and the contours of her silhouette are precisely defined. The strong blacks and whites of her dress stand out starkly against the neutral mid-tones of the plain, nondescript background, which has been thinly brushed in cool grey over a brownish preparatory layer that provides just a hint of warmth. In a picture devoid of extraneous detail, the artist has allowed himself a single painterly flourish near the center of the composition: the sitter’s modest lace collar, painted loosely and economically in liquid, semitransparent strokes of white. At lower left, we read in bold, black capitals: MILLET.
Depicting the young wife of Millet’s close friend Felix-Bienaimé Feuardent (1819–1907), the Portrait of Louis-Antoinette Feuardent is a testament to one of the defining relationships of the artist’s life and to his artistic ambitions near the outset of his career, when he was intent on establishing himself as the leading portraitist in Cherbourg. It was only years later that Millet settled in Barbizon on the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau and began forging his lasting reputation as France’s great painter of peasant subjects, of which the Getty Museum’s Man with a Hoe is an iconic example.
Born into a respectable and devout farming family in 1814, Millet grew up in the hamlet of Gruchy in the commune of Gréville, some 15 kilometers from the port city of Cherbourg on the Cotentin peninsula in Normandy. Cherbourg would be the crucial staging ground for Millet’s career, and it was there that his professional formation began as he neared his twentieth year. After receiving some initial instruction from the local painter Bon Dumoucel (1807–1846), which was cut short by Millet’s father’s death in November 1835,1 the artist returned to Cherbourg early in 1836 to continue his studies with the history painter and portraitist Lucien-Théophile-Ange-Sosthène Langlois de Chevreville (1802–1845), a former pupil of Antoine-Jean Gros (1771–1835) who had recently set up a teaching studio.2 The course of study that Langlois prescribed largely involved copy exercises in the Musée Thomas Henry, which had been inaugurated just the year before and which boasted a substantial and, for the time, impressively encyclopedic collection of European painting.3 Millet fast became Langlois’s protégé, and in August 1836 Langlois addressed a petition to the municipal council requesting a bursary that would enable the young artist to move to Paris, enroll in one of the leading ateliers, and pursue his ambitions as a history painter.4 Some of Millet’s student work was displayed before the council, and Langlois’s petition was granted.5 The Journal de Cherbourg endorsed the decision, describing Millet as “a prodigious talent [….] who promises to become a celebrity one day, maybe even a great man” who could do honor to Cherbourg and to France.6 1836 ended on a high note as one of Millet’s large-format copy drawings was displayed in the Musée Henry, prompting more encouragement from the press.7 Millet was set to leave the provinces with Cherbourg’s full backing and the considerable weight of expectation that this entailed.
Soon after arriving in Paris in January 1837, Millet entered the studio of Paul Delaroche (1797–1856), a painter of historical dramas who was then at the height of his fame, and for the next two years the young artist would devote himself to academic exercises that were designed to prepare students for the annual Prix de Rome competitions, a course of study that was facilitated by renewed grants from the municipal council of Cherbourg and also the general council of the Manche department. But after two failed attempts at the Prix de Rome and the councils’ decision, toward the end of 1839, not to renew Millet’s funding, the 25-year-old artist was at a crossroads and under mounting financial pressure. He left Delaroche’s studio, momentarily set aside his ambitions as a history painter, and focused his attention on the annual state-sponsored Salon.
Tellingly, the works he submitted to the 1840 exhibition were both portraits. One of these, a portrait of Louis-Alexandre Marolle (b. ca. 1820), a close artist friend, was rejected by the jury,8 but the other, Portrait de M. L. F…, was accepted ― his first acceptance to date.9 Millet’s choice to submit portraits was strategic and unsurprising. Bourgeois portraiture was a burgeoning genre in this period, and it was certainly one of the more commercially viable for an emerging artist of little means. Millet, moreover, had been practicing the genre for a few years by then, portraying various family members and friends on return visits to Normandy.10 Competition was nevertheless intense. Millet’s Portrait de M. L. F… was one of more than four hundred portraits in the 1840 Salon,11 and it passed unnoticed in the Parisian newspapers.
The mere fact of having a work accepted in the Salon, however, was an encouraging sign for Millet, and he quickly sought to parlay his new Parisian credentials into provincial success.12 After the Salon he returned to Cherbourg with the intent of establishing a portrait practice there, where he was already a figure of some public interest. Like other local and itinerant portraitists, Millet took advantage of the Musée Henry to advertise his talent. As the Journal de Cherbourg reported on September 13, 1840:
Tomorrow, Sunday, a portrait painted by M. Millet will be exhibited in the vestibule of the Musée Henry. One will recognize in this canvas by our compatriot the realization of the happy dispositions that his beginnings intimated. Boldness and breadth of touch, energy of tone, truth and strength in expression, pleasing harmony of the whole, all this can be found in this portrait, which deserves in all respects the attention of connoisseurs. 13
The following months were highly productive ones for Millet, as he continued to exhibit new portraits at regular intervals in the museum.14 Unfortunately we cannot identify these paintings, since the local press did not name the sitters or describe the works in any detail, but a stern and piercing self-portrait gives us a good idea of the artist’s intensity and resolve during this period (fig. 1).
Millet’s visibility in Cherbourg was amplified by his friend Felix-Bienaimé Feuardent, who displayed the artist’s portraits in his shop on at least two occasions in the latter part of 1840. Indeed, it was through Feuardent that Millet announced that he was open for business in Cherbourg. As the notice ran in the Journal de Cherbourg on September 10:
M. Millet, the young painter whose happy dispositions the elective assemblies of the Manche have so often been pleased to encourage, is currently in Cherbourg; he intends to take the opportunity to make some portraits. One of his works in this genre, very remarkable in both its execution and resemblance, is on display with M. Feuardent, bookseller, rue de l’Hôpital.15
Feuardent was not just a sitter for one of Millet’s portraits around this time (fig. 2); he clearly was playing an active role in promoting his friend’s career, a fact that has not been properly acknowledged.
If Millet was a young man on the rise in Cherbourg in the second half of 1840, so too was Feuardent. It is not clear when the two met, but later biographers have claimed that their friendship dated to Millet’s earliest days in Cherbourg in the mid-1830s, when a teenage Feuardent was a commis, or clerk, for the bookseller and merchant Jean-Baptiste-Nicolas Lecouflet (1787–1844)16 — the story being that the well-read Millet’s penchant for books brought them together.17 But when Millet returned to Cherbourg in the late summer of 1840, Feuardent was no longer a mere clerk. In June of that year he received his official brevet, or license, as a libraire,18 and soon afterward he established his own bookshop on the rue de l’Hôpital. Over the course of the summer and fall, Feuardent worked hard to establish, advertise, and grow his business. He offered a wide range of books, particularly those of a serious literary and historical nature, as well as sheet music, prints, and a range of other articles and fancy goods.19 At the end of September unfortunately, just a couple months after opening, disaster struck when a fire ravaged Feuardent’s store in the middle of the night, destroying much of the more valuable inventory. The press reported that the frantic young man, who lived above the shop, braved the smoke and flames to save what books he could; adding insult to injury, a significant sum of money was stolen from the premises during the commotion.20 Three weeks later, however, Feuardent had already made the necessary repairs, replenished some of his stock (thanks to a shipment from Paris that was still en route when the fire broke out), and reopened for business. Highly impressed, the Journal de Cherbourg made a point of encouraging the townsfolk to patronize Feuardent and extolling him as a model of intelligence, hard work, and family devotion.21 Things had turned around quickly for the young entrepreneur, and by the end of the year he had his sights set on expansion as he finalized plans to add a reading room featuring a large selection of Parisian and provincial newspapers.22
This was a momentous time in Feuardent’s personal life too. It is unclear when he met Louise-Antoinette Casini (1818–1907) – the subject of the Getty portrait – but by the end of 1840 they were intimately involved. Probably sometime in November or December they conceived their first child, Louis-Gaston, who would be born on August 20, 1841.23 On February 3, 1841, when Casini was about two months pregnant, she and Feuardent were married, with Millet serving as one of the signing witnesses on the civil acte de mariage.24 Twenty-two at the time, Casini was less than a year older than Feuardent.25 She too was a native of Cherbourg, having been born in 1818 to a French mother, Louise-Marie-Rosalie Lecourt (1790–1830), and to an Italian father originally from Siena, Antoine-Marie Casini (1787–1847), who eventually rose to the position of “maître sculpteur à la Marine,”26 which is to say, the master of the sculpture studio at the Cherbourg arsenal, or navy yard.
Casini had had some hard experiences by the time of her marriage to Feuardent. Her first husband, Michel Hebert (b. 1818), whom she had married in 1837, died suddenly on January 4, 1840, at age 21.27 This loss was quickly followed less than a month later by the death of their six-month-old daughter, Louise-Victorine.28 Louise-Antoinette was left with one surviving child, Marie-Josephine-Antoinette Hebert, who was not yet two years old.29 For a young widow and mother in her position, finding a new husband, both for security and support, must have been critical. The enterprising and independent Feuardent, already a figure of public sympathy and admiration, would certainly have seemed an eligible and attractive prospect.
It is generally assumed that Millet’s Portrait of Louise-Antoinette Feuardent was occasioned by the sitter’s 1841 marriage, and that it is the spousal pendant to Millet’s portrait of Felix-Bienaimé Feuardent (fig. 2). Caution should be exercised here, however, since the two sitters face the same direction in their portraits, suggesting that they were not strictly conceived as pendants (whose sitters would face each other on the wall) but rather were painted independently on separate occasions.
With regard to the dating of the Getty portrait, it is not impossible that Millet executed it in the weeks immediately following the Feuardent wedding (i.e., late February-early March 1841), but this seems unlikely since it was at exactly this time that Millet was busying himself with an important commission he had just received from the municipal authorities of Cherbourg to paint a posthumous portrait of Paul-Honoré Javain (1770–1841), the recently deceased former mayor. This episode ended in a debacle in March when the portrait was judged to be a poor likeness and the council withheld payment, prompting a heated exchange with the artist (in his defense, Millet had never met Javain and had been supplied with only a miniature portrait for reference).30 A disgruntled Millet decamped and was back in Paris by early April.
Millet’s next opportunity for painting Mme Feuardent would have presented itself only months later when he returned to Cherbourg, this time for his own marriage on November 16, 1841 to Pauline-Virginie Ono (1821–1844), the daughter of a local tailor, Pierre-Armand Ono, called Biot (1800–1875), who happened to be close to Felix-Bienaimé Feuardent and had served as witness, along with Millet, to Feuardent’s marriage.31 During this Cherbourg sojourn, which lasted until early 1842 when Millet and his wife left for Paris, the painter is known to have busied himself with portraits,32 and the Portrait of Louise-Antoinette Feuardent might easily belong to this group, which is otherwise dominated by paintings of his new in-laws. Indeed, there are obvious similarities, both in style and pose, between the Getty painting and a portrait of Pauline Ono that Millet is thought to have produced around the time of his marriage (fig. 3).
Whatever the precise date of its execution in 1841, the Portrait of Louise-Antoinette Feuardent ranks among the strongest of Millet’s early Cherbourg period. It exemplifies the bold simplicity and cultivated lack of pretension that characterizes much post-revolutionary French portraiture, and attests to the fact that the influence of Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) and his school – of which Langlois, as a student of Gros, was a third-generation representative – was still strong in the middle of the nineteenth century. At the same time, the portrait reflects contemporary fashion, tinged as it is with romantic melancholy in the sitter’s wan, pallid mien and slightly mournful expression, which gains in resonance with the knowledge of Mme Feuardent’s recent life experiences. And while the portrait was calculated in its modesty and reserve to appeal to the conservative tastes and gender norms of the provincial bourgeoisie, it also brings to bear the painterly lessons that Millet had learned in Paris and that were to distinguish his brand of portraiture from the more routine and high-volume productions of the miniaturists and daguerreotypists who were also seeking business in Cherbourg in the late 1830s and early 1840s.
Scholars have been right to detect a certain Spanish flavor in Millet’s early Cherbourg work, for his time in Paris had coincided with the opening, in January 1838, of King Louis-Philippe’s Galerie espagnole in the Louvre, a major event in the artistic life of Paris and in Millet’s own education. He wasted little time in visiting this large collection of Spanish painting and writing enthusiastically about it to friends in Cherbourg.33 Works by and attributed to Francisco de Zurbarán dominated the display, and his full-length female figures in particular commanded attention.34 Zurbarán’s female saints also figured prominently in top-tier Parisian collections like that of Marshal Soult (1769–1851), and one might recognize a distant template for the bodily attitude, the tilt of the head, and the forthright gaze of Millet’s Mme Feuardent in paintings like Zurbarán’s Saint Casilda or Saint Apollonia (figs. 4-5), both of which were then in Soult’s collection.35 Contemporary critics highlighted the mixture of saintliness and allure in Zurbarán’s female figures,36 and Millet may very well have sought to nuance his portrait of his friend’s wife in a similar way.
After the trial of her first marriage, Louise-Antoinette Casini was far more fortunate in her second, which proved both enduring and fruitful, though not without its own difficult losses. From 1841 through 1857, she gave birth to 11 children, meaning that she was routinely pregnant from the time she was 22 until the time she was 38 years old.37 As an indicator of the prevalence of child mortality during this period, she and her husband lost four of these children when they were still babies or toddlers. Their first two, Louis-Gaston (b.1841) and Louise-Pauline (b. 1842), died within weeks of each other in February 1843,38 and these were followed the following decade by the deaths of Cécile-Eugénie (b. 1851) in 185239 and Amélie-Cécile (b. 1853) in 1855.40 Mme Feuardent’s fortitude must have been remarkable, however, as she continued to dedicate herself to building her family. Her remaining children proved to be remarkably long-lived, as did she herself.41
While Mme Feuardent committed herself to motherhood, M. Feuardent worked steadily to support his family and advance his career. If in the 1840s he established himself as a respected libraire, his attention shifted in the 1850s to printing, publishing, and scholarly pursuits. He received his brevet as imprimeur, or printer, in December 1853,42 just before taking over the printing and editorship of the Journal de Cherbourg, the very newspaper that been so supportive of him and Millet earlier in their careers.43 He immediately used the newspaper to advertise the first scholarly book he published in 1854: Études géographiques et historiques sur le département de la Manche, by the late Charles de Gerville (1769–1853), a noted naturalist, archeologist, and historian who was one of the founders of the Société des Antiquaires de Normandie.44 Gerville had been instrumental in fostering Feuardent’s antiquarian interests,45 and when Gerville died he bequeathed his exceptional collection of ancient coins and medals to Feuardent.46 It was upon the basis of this windfall that Feuardent was able to launch his own career as a numismatist. He orchestrated the auction of Gerville’s collection in Paris in 185447 and soon began publishing scholarly notices, particularly in the Revue numismatique.48 Through this activity he came into contact with the leading Parisian numismatist Claude-Camille Rollin (1813–1883),49 with whom he eventually went into business after relocating to Paris in 1858 with his family, not long after the birth of his youngest child.50 With quarters near Bibliothèque nationale on the Rue Vivienne (Rollin’s longstanding address), the firm of MM. Rollin & Feuardent was the leader in its field. They published the Revue numismatique (which Rollin had helped launch in 1836), regularly served as authenticating experts in auctions of coins and medals, and generally dominated the Paris trade, cultivating many collectors over the years. Feuardent’s reputation, according to a 1907 obituary, was that of “an amiable, obliging, admirably informed scholar, to whom museums and libraries all over the world owe a part of their wealth and who exercised a fruitful influence on an ever-expanding group of collectors.”51 What this obituary omits is the poignant and suggestive fact that M. Feuardent died scarcely more than three weeks after his wife of 66 years.52 Though we know much less about Mme Feuardent than her husband, who enjoyed the privilege of a public career, one suspects that their union was a profound one.
Even after their career paths led them in different directions, Millet, Feuardent, and their spouses were important fixtures in each others’ lives. Feuardent continued exhibiting Millet’s work in his shop,53 even after the Javain affair had reportedly soured Millet’s relationship with the Cherbourg city councillors and other local notables in 1841.54 In November 1842 during a return visit from Paris, Millet acted as witness to the birth of the Feuardents’ second child, Louise-Pauline,55 and on subsequent trips he would again portray members of the Feuardent family. When Millet returned to Cherbourg in 1844 following the untimely death of Pauline Ono, he enlisted Antoinette Hebert, the one surviving child from Mme Feuardent’s first marriage, to pose for the little girl kneeling before a mirror in one of the most memorable works executed in his so-called “manière fleurie,” or florid manner, which was characterized by rich coloration and roughly textured brushwork―a far cry from the austerity of his earlier portraits (fig. 6).56
1844 would be the last year that Millet painted portraits in Cherbourg. At some point after Pauline Ono’s death he started a relationship with Catherine Lemaire (1827–1894), a domestic servant 13 years his junior, and possibly to keep the knowledge of this liaison from his family (and avoid difficult encounters with the Ono family), Millet moved to Le Havre in 1845, plied his trade as a portraitist there for several months, and then moved with Lemaire to Paris, where they soon started a family.57 Millet would keep his distance from Normandy for several years, returning only upon his mother’s death in the spring of 1853. Later that year he and Lemaire were finally married, and it was only then that Millet entertained a longer trip back to his native region with his new family. He, Catherine, and their four children spent the whole summer of 1854 in Normandy,58 an occasion commemorated by a family photograph taken by none other than Feuardent himself, who had become something of an amateur photographer in the intervening years (fig. 7).
Contacts between Millet and Feuardent must only have increased once Feuardent established himself and his family in Paris in the late 1850s. Millet, living just a short train trip away in Barbizon, made regular forays into the capital, and he must have seen the Feuardents often. Feuardent obliged Millet by sending him important publications,59 sourcing photographic and other reproductions for him,60 and also collecting his work,61 while Millet confided in Feuardent about developments in his career.62 They also had new friends in common. It was likely Millet who introduced the famous Barbizon landscape painter Théodore Rousseau to Feuardent, and it is almost certain that Feuardent was the principal source for Rousseau’s important collection of ancient coins and medals,63 which was eventually dispersed at the artist’s estate sale – a sale for which MM. Rollin & Feuardent predictably served as experts.64 Feuardent’s relationship with Rousseau was such that Millet wrote to him immediately upon Rousseau’s death in 1867,65 and Millet subsequently felt compelled to make his excuses to Mme Feuardent when he was unable, on account of one of his debilitating migraines, to attend the funeral of Mme Rousseau in 1869.66
This wasn’t the only time that Millet showed sensitivity to Mme Feuardent’s feelings. The artist was keen on distancing himself from any association with radical leftist politics, and especially with the Paris Commune uprising in the spring of 1871, during which time he was nominated, without his consent, to the revolutionary Fédération des artistes de Paris. Millet made a point of writing to Feuardent about this on May 10, 1871: “Mme Feuardent must have known that I did not accept with too much enthusiasm my famous nomination by the artists of the Commune. My response must have been inserted into several newspapers.”67 Millet may have been particularly mindful of her opinion at this moment since he and his family had recently found refuge, after the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian war, in the Feuardents’ home in Cherbourg (Feuardent was in London at the time).68 The two families, moreover, were about to be bound even more tightly with the marriage, in Cherbourg on September 16, 1871, of Millet’s eldest daughter Marie-Rosalie (1846-1896) to the Feuardents’ son Léon-Félix (1849–1931), who was on his way to becoming a respected numismatist himself.69 Millet had not many years left at this point, but he was fortunate to live long enough to see the birth of his first grandchild, Antoine Feuardent, in 1872.70
After Millet’s death in 1875, Feuardent would be a valuable source of biographical information for the art historian and critic Paul Mantz (1821–1895), who had taken on the task of completing and editing the late Alfred Sensier’s unfinished Millet biography.71 That publication, however, obscures the centrality of Feuardent and his family in Millet’s life, treats Millet’s activities in Cherbourg rather cursorily, and foregrounds Sensier’s own personal and business relationship with Millet, a relationship that dated only from 1847. Felix-Bienaimé Feuardent is introduced as a “commis de librairie” and little else is subsequently said about him or Louise-Antoinette Feuardent, apart from a few passing mentions and citations of correspondence.72 Sensier’s description of Feuardent was mistranslated as “clerk of a library” in the 1881 English edition of his biography,73 and many subsequent sources have perpetuated this error.74 It will have become clear that Feuardent was a far more significant figure than this characterization would suggest, and he and his wife – as well as Millet’s striking portraits of them – demand closer attention than they have generally been afforded.
- Scott C. Allan
- Regarding Millet’s brief time with Dumoucel, see Alfred Sensier, La vie et l’oeuvre de J.-F. Millet, ed. Paul Mantz (Paris: A. Quantin, 1881), pp. 35–37; Étienne Moreau-Nélaton, Millet raconté par lui-même (Paris: Henri Laurens, 1921), vol. 1, pp. 16–17; Lucien Lepoittevin, Jean-François Millet, Portraitiste: Essai et catalogue (Paris: Léonce Laget, 1971), p. xviii; and Chantal Georgel, Millet (Paris: Citadelles & Mazenod, 2014), p. 106. ↩
- In late September 1835, the local press indicated that Langlois would be opening a drawing and painting studio the following month; see “Beaux-Arts,” Journal de Cherbourg (Sept. 27, 1835), p. 3. On November 1, 1835, the same newspaper notified readers that Langlois was now accepting students, at a tuition rate of 10 francs per month, with one tuition-free spot being reserved for a deserving student of limited means, to be filled at the mayor’s recommendation; see Journal de Cherbourg (Nov. 1, 1835), p. 4. It was surely this spot that was granted Millet early in 1836, as intimated later that year by Langlois himself, who wrote of Millet in a petition to the mayor and municipal council: “Several of you, Sirs, already know this young man and have recommended him to me. Your worthy president and the sub-prefect in particular have entrusted him to my care”(“Plusieurs d’entre vous, Messieurs, connaissent déjà ce jeune homme et me l’ont recommandé. Votre digne président et M. le sous-préfet l’ont particulièrement confié à mes soins”). Quoted in Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, p. 20. The Journal de Cherbourg has been digitized and may be consulted online at: www.normannia.info. ↩
- The founding gift included 163 paintings, not including two paintings by Thomas Henry himself. See Cherbourg. Musée Henry. Peinture & Sculpture. Catalogue. 1912 (Cherbourg: Imprimerie Artistique A. Périgault, 1912), nos. 1–163. Among these paintings were two notable portraits of women by Dutch painters Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen and Adrien Hanneman, both of which Millet would copy. On these two paintings, see Françoise Gueroult, Musée Thomas Henry: Les Écoles du Nord (Cherbourg: Musée Thomas Henry, 1973), nos. 8, 15. For a full list of recorded copies made by Millet in the museum, see Georgel 2014 (note 1), pp. 380–81n44. ↩
- Langlois’s petition, dated August 19, 1836, is cited in full in Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, pp. 20–21; see also note 2, above. ↩
- This display was mentioned in Langlois’s petition to the municipal council; see Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, p. 20. It also had some echo in the Cherbourg press; see “Beaux-Arts. – Peintures et dessin,” Journal de Cherbourg (Aug. 21, 1836), p. 3. ↩
- “un prodigieux talent […] qui promet de devenir un jour une célébrité, peut-être un grand homme.” “Nouvelles locales,” Journal de Cherbourg (Aug. 21, 1836), p. 2. ↩
- See “Nouvelles locales,” Journal de Cherbourg (Dec. 25, 1836), p. 3. ↩
- Robert L. Herbert et al., Jean-François Millet, exh. cat. (Paris: Grand Palais; Editions des Musées Nationaux, 1975), p. 23. On Marolle, see Sensier 1881 (note 1), pp. 65–69; Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, pp. 30–31. The refused portrait has tentatively been identified with Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), no. 55, but that work, now in the collection of the Princeton University Art Museum (inv. x1991-185), is signed and dated “Millet. 1841”, which, if accurate, precludes the pastel from being the portrait in question. ↩
- Explication des ouvrages de peinture, sculpture, architecture, gravure et lithographie des artistes vivans, exposés au Musée royal le 5 mars 1840 (Paris: Vinchon, fils et successeur de Mme Ve Ballard, 1840), p. 134, no. 1199. According to Sensier, who did not elaborate, the sitter was Millet’s “relative”(“son parent”); see Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 71. Moreau-Nélaton could not confirm this or identify the sitter, and Lepoittevin similarly indicated that the Salon painting had not been identified; see Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, pp. 32–33, and Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), p. xxvi. Subsequent sources, however, have identified the sitter as one M. Lefranc, and the painting as one formerly in the Nathan collection in Zurich; see, for instance, Herbert et al. 1975 (note 8), p. 23. The painting in question is Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), no. 68. Prior to the 1840 Salon, Millet has submitted once before, in 1839; his Sainte Anne Instructing the Virgin was refused on that occasion; see Herbert et al. 1975 (note 8), p. 23. ↩
- Lepoittevin has dated Millet’s earliest portrait drawings to c. 1835–1836 and earliest painted portraits to 1838; see Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), pp. xv, xviii. ↩
- Of the 1666 numbers for paintings in the 1840 Salon catalogue (note 9), 447 were for works identified as portraits, i.e. more than a quarter of the exhibition. The category “peintures” included oil paintings as well as miniatures, pastels and watercolors. In the case of miniatures, multiple portraits were frequently listed under a single catalogue number, so the total number of painted portraits considerably exceeded 447. ↩
- Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), p. xxv. ↩
- “Demain dimanche un portrait peint par M. Millet, sera exposé dans le vestibule du Musée-Henry. On reconnaitra dans cette toile de notre compatriote la réalisation des heureuses dispositions que ses débuts avaient fait concevoir. Hardiesse et largeur de touche, énergie de ton, vérité et force dans l’expression, heureuse harmonie de l’ensemble, tout se trouve dans ce portrait, qui mérite à tous égards d’attirer l’attention des connaisseurs.” “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Sept. 13, 1840), p. 3. ↩
- According to Lepoittevin, Millet produced around 15–20 portraits in total during this initial sojourn in Cherbourg, which lasted from around August 1840 to March 1841; see Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), p. xxv. Reports in the local press indicate that Millet exhibited portraits in the Musée Henry on at least five occasions in the late summer and fall of 1840; see Journal de Cherbourg (Sept. 13, 1840), p. 3; (Sept. 24, 1840), p. 2; (Oct. 4, 1840), p. 2; (Oct. 18, 1840), p. 3; and (Dec. 3, 1840), p. 3. It should be noted that on two of these occasions Millet’s portraits were paired with portraits by the now-forgotten Désiré Dutot (see the reports for Sept. 24 and Oct. 4, 1840). Like Millet, Dutot had studied with Dumoucel and received a considerable amount of support in the Cherbourg press in the late 1830s and early 1840s. The possibility of a local rivalry between the two is intriguing, but I have been unable to trace any extant examples of Dutot’s work that would allow for a comparison. ↩
- “M. Millet, le jeune peintre dont les assemblées électives de la Manche se sont plu tant de fois à encourager les heureuses dispositions, se trouve en ce moment à Cherbourg; il se propose de profiter de cette occasion pour faire quelques portraits. L’un de ses ouvrages de ce genre, très remarquable par son exécution et par sa ressemblance, est exposé chez M. Feuardent, libraire, rue de l’Hôpital.” “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Sept. 10, 1840), p. 3. In early December 1840, Feuardent was again displaying Millet’s work; see “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Dec. 3, 1840), p. 3. ↩
- Sensier simply describes Feuardent as a “jeune commis de librairie.” Moreau-Nélaton later specified, without citing his source, that Feuardent was a “commis en librairie chez le sieur Lécouflé [sic].” Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, p. 18. Thanks to period advertisements, considerable information can be gathered about Lecouflet’s business in Cherbourg in the mid-1830s. See, for instance, Journal de Cherbourg (Feb. 7, 1836), p. 4; (Apr. 24, 1836), p. 3; (Jul. 17, 1836), p. 4; (Aug. 7, 1836), p. 3; and (Aug. 21, 1836), p. 4. ↩
- Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 39; Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, p. 18. ↩
- See Bibliographie de la France, ou Journal général de l’imprimerie et de la librairie […] 29, no. 26 (June 27, 1840), p. 360 (“Administration. / Nominations de libraires et mutations de brevets. / […] Feuardent (Félix-Bienaimé), à Cherbourg, 16 juin ”). ↩
- Advertisements in the Journal de Cherbourg provide some idea of Feuardent’s business in its first few months. See “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (July 26, 1840), p. 2 (“On se presse dans le magasin de M. Feuardent, libraire, rue de l’Hôpital, à Cherbourg, pour y voir deux belles armures de chevaliers”); “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Aug. 6, 1840), p. 2 (“M. Feuardent, libraire, rue de l’Hôpital, vient de recevoir une grande quantité de morceaux de musique et de gravures qu’il se propose de louer aux amateurs”); “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Aug. 27, 1840), p. 3 (“M. Feuardent, libraire, rue de l’Hôpital, vient de recevoir beaucoup de musique, méthodes, morceaux d’harmonie pour piano, instruments à corde et à vent, romances, etc.; à louer ou à vendre, au gré des amateurs”); “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Sept. 27, 1840), p. 2 (“M. Feuardent, libraire rue de l’Hôpital, vient de recevoir un grand nombre d’ouvrages nouveaux pour mettre en lecture. Sa collection n’est pas seulement formée, comme les autres, des romans nouveaux; elle comprend en outre une collection complète des meilleures pièces de théâtre depuis Corneille jusqu’au moment actuel, beaucoup d’ouvrages sérieux, importants ou peu communs, tels que: collections de chroniques sur l’histoire de France, œuvres complètes de Chateaubriand, causes célèbres, dictionnaire de la conversation et de la lecture, Rabelais, etc., etc., etc.“). ↩
- For a detailed report of the fire and ensuing theft, see “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Oct. 1, 1840), pp. 2-3. ↩
- See “Nouvelles locales,” Journal de Cherbourg (Oct. 18, 1840), p. 3. ↩
- See “Nouvelles diverses,” Journal de Cherbourg (Dec. 20, 1840), p. 3. Feuardent’s reading room would open in January 1841 and soon feature 30 newspapers; see “Nouvelles locales,” Journal de Cherbourg (Jan. 7, 1841), p. 2; and Journal de Cherbourg (Mar. 28, 1841), p. 4. ↩
- Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1841 3E 129/119, acte de naissance no. 409. The official records of the État civil of Cherbourg (ie. birth, death, and marriage records) can be consulted online at: www.archives-manche.fr. ↩
- Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1841, 3E 129/120, acte de mariage no. 15. ↩
- Casini was born on July 1, 1818, and Feuardent was born on April 26, 1819. See Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1818, 3E 129/49, unnumbered acte de naissance dated July 2, 1818; and Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1819, 3E 129/52, unnumbered acte de naissance dated April 27, 1819. ↩
- This is how Antoine-Marie Casini’s profession is listed on his daughter’s 1841 acte de mariage (see note 24, above) and on his own 1847 death certificate. See Archives departementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1847, 3E 129/139, acte de décès no. 719. See also Journal de Cherbourg (Nov. 14, 1847), p. 4 (“État Civil […] D.[Décès] […] Antoine-Marie Casini, maître sculpteur à la Marine, r. Grande-Vallée, 60 ans”). ↩
- Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1840, 3E 129/118, acte de décès no. 8. Unfortunately we know very little of Michel Hebert. On his death certificate he is described as “sans état,” i.e. without profession, just as he was on his 1837 marriage certificate; see Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1837, 3E 129/108, acte de mariage no. 142. The local press announcement of his death, however, identifies him as a “naturaliste.” See Journal de Cherbourg (Jan. 9, 1840), p. 4 (“État Civil de la ville de Cherbourg. / […] Décès. […] Michel Hébert, naturaliste, 21 ans, r. du Roule”). ↩
- Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1840, 3E 129/118, acte de décès no. 64. ↩
- Antoinette Hebert was born on April 19, 1838; see Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1838, 3E 129/110, acte de naissance no. 178. ↩
- For a well-documented account of this affair, see Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, pp. 33–43. Although Millet ran afoul of the municipal authorities, the local press had some positive words for the Javain portrait; see, for instance, Journal de Cherbourg (Mar. 18, 1841), p. 3. The portrait is today in the collection of the Musée Thomas Henry in Cherbourg; see Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), no. 41. ↩
- For Feuardent’s marriage certificate, see note 24 above; for Millet’s marriage certificate, see Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1841, 3E 129/120, acte de mariage no. 157. For Millet’s portrait of Pierre Ono, see Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), no. 49. According to most sources, Millet had known Pauline Ono since his early days in Cherbourg, probably since at least 1836; see, for instance, Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), p. xvii; no. 7. ↩
- The Journal de Cherbourg included a notice indicating that “M. Millet, the young artist whose talent we have had the occasion to praise several times, is at this moment in Cherbourg, where he proposes to paint several portraits”(“M. Millet, le jeune artiste dont nous avons plusieurs fois eu occasion de louer le talent, est en ce moment à Cherbourg, où il se propose de peindre quelques portraits”). “Nouvelles locales,” Journal de Cherbourg (November 11, 1841), p. 3. ↩
- See Moreau-Nélaton 1921 (note 1), vol. 1, pp. 29–30; Georgel 2014 (note 1), pp. 101–2; and also Gary Tinterow et al., Manet/Velázquez: The French Taste for Spanish Painitng, exh. cat. (New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, with Yale University Press, 2002), pp. 39–40, 379. ↩
- For works attributed to Zurbarán in the Galerie espagnole, see Jeannine Baticle et al., La Galerie espagnole de Louis-Philippe au Louvre, 1838–1848 (Paris: Editions de la Réunion des musées nationaux, 1981), pp. 210–56, nos. 331–452; for depictions of female saints in particular, see pp. 243–52, nos. 390–406. ↩
- See Julián Gállego and José Gudiol, Zurbaran, 1598–1664, trans. Kenneth Lyons (London: Secker & Warburg, 1977), p. 97, no. 245 (St Apollonia), fig. 255; p. 113, no. 445 (as St. Elizabeth of Portugal), fig. 409. On the latter painting, now identified as Saint Casilda, see also Tinterow et al. 2002 (note 33), p. 461, no. 84. ↩
- As one reviewer wrote: “One loves […] to stop before a large number of female saints, almost all of them charming, but not so religious in their expression. Without the martyrs’ attributes that serve to identify them, one would be more inclined to see them as noble Spanish ladies”(“On aime […] à s’arrêter devant un grand nombre de Saintes, presque toutes charmantes, mais d’une expression peu religieuse. Sans les attributs de martyre qui servent à les designer, on serait plus disposé à voir en elles de nobles Dames espagnoles”). Anon., “La Galerie Espagnole au Louvre: François Zurbaran,” Le Magasin pittoresque 6, no. 9 (March 1838), p. 66. ↩
- Moreau-Nélaton claimed that she had 14 children with M. Feuardent (Moreau-Nélaton 1921 [note 1], vol. 1, p. 49), but a review of the actes de naissance in the Cherbourg archives indicate that the couple in fact had 11. These were: Louis-Gaston Feuardent (b. Aug. 20, 1841); Louise-Pauline Feuardent (b. Nov. 13, 1842); Gaston-Louis Feuardent (b. Dec. 31, 1843); Louise-Mathilde Feuardent (b. Jun. 13, 1846); Mathilde-Amélie Feuardent (b. Oct. 5, 1847); Léon-Félix Feuardent (b. Jan. 3, 1849); Cécile-Eugénie Feuardent (b. May 3, 1851); Adrien-Emile Feuardent (b. Sept. 3, 1852); Amélie-Cécile Feuardent (b. Nov. 8, 1853); Cécile-Louise Feuardent (b. Oct. 30, 1854); and Jeanne-Marie-Antoinette Feuardent (b. Mar. 29, 1857). ↩
- Louise-Pauline died on Feb. 8 and Louis-Gaston died on Feb. 24, 1843. See Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1843, 3E 129/127, actes de décès nos. 72 and 108. ↩
- Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1852, 3E 129/154, acte de décès no. 167. ↩
- Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1855, 3E 129/163, acte de décès no. 161. ↩
- Gaston-Louis (b.1843), for instance, died in 1893; Cécile-Louise (b.1854) in 1909; Louise-Mathilde (b.1846) in 1930; Léon-Felix (b.1849) in 1931; and Mathilde-Amélie (b.1847) in 1949. Louise-Antoinette Feuardent died in Paris in 1907 (see note 52 below). ↩
- See “Exeter Working Papers in Book History. / Biographical and bibliographical information on the book trades”: https://bookhistory.blogspot.com/search?q=Feuardent. Subsequent advertisements in the local press list him as “Imprimeur-Libraire”; see, for example, Journal de Cherbourg (December 22, 1853), p. 4. ↩
- By December 25, 1853, Feuardent had taken over as chief editor and printer of the Journal de Cherbourg. ↩
- Advertisements for this publication ran repeatedly in the newspaper through the summer of 1854; indeed, the intention to promote Gerville’s work and legacy is announced by Feuardent in his very first editorial statement in the newspaper; see Journal de Cherbourg (December 25, 1853), p. 1. ↩
- E. Babelon, “La trouvaille monétaire de Helleville (Manche) en 1780,” Bulletin de la Société des antiquaires de Normandie 28 (1913), pp. 17-18. See also Pierre Leberruyer, “Modeste commis de librairie […],” La Presse de la Manche (January 4, 1971), p. 3; (January 7, 1971), p. 3. ↩
- In Feuardent’s preface to the 1854 Gerville sale catalogue (see note 47 below), he notes that “the scholarly world knows the important work of the eminent man who has bequeathed to us all of his medals and antique objects”(“le monde savant connait les travaux importants de l’homme eminent qui nous a legue par testament tout ce qu’il possedait de medailles et d’objets antiques”). ↩
- See Catalogue d’une très belle et très nombreuse collection de médailles grecques, romaines, byzantines, francaises, seigneuriales, du moyen âge et étrangères modernes, provenant presque toutes du Cabinet de M. de Gerville, ancien membre du Conseil général du département de la Manche, associe correspondant de l’Institut, etc., rédigé par Feuardent, imprimeur-libraire à Cherbourg (1854). The sale of the collection ran from April 27-May 2, 1854. See also Leberruyer 1971 (note 45). ↩
- See, for instance, Feuardent’s “Médailles de Constantin et de ses fils portant des signes de christianisme,” Revue numismatique, n.s., t. 1 (1856), pp. 247–55; and “Monnaies du roi Éduard III, frappées au type française,” Revue numismatique, n.s., t. 3 (1858), pp. 462–68. ↩
- It is clear that Feuardent was in contact with Rollin by the time of the 1854 Gerville sale (see note 47 above) since the title page of the catalogue indicates that “this collection has been seen by M. Rollin”(“cette collection a eté vue par M. Rollin”) and that “the catalogue is being distributed in Paris by M. Rollin, antiquarian, 12 rue Vivienne”(“le catalogue se distribue à Paris, chez M. Rollin, antiquaire, 12 rue Vivienne”). ↩
- This was Jeanne-Marie-Antoinette Feuardent (b. 1857); see note 37 above. ↩
- “un savant aimable, complaisant, admirablement informé, auquel les Musées et les bibliothèques du monde entier sont redevables d’une partie de leurs richesses et qui a exercé une influence féconde sur le groupe sans cesse élargi des collectionneurs.” “Nouvelles archéologiques et correspondance,” Revue archéologique, 4th ser., vol. 10 (July-December 1907), p. 329. ↩
- Louise-Antoinette died on July 17, 1907; Felix-Bienaimé died on August 11, 1907. ↩
- In late September 1841, Feuardent exhibited four genre scenes by Millet after they had been exhibited in the vestibule of the Musée Henry; see “Nouvelles locales,” Journal de Cherbourg (Sept. 26, 1841), p. 2. The four pictures are discussed at length in “Beaux-Arts – Tableaux de M. Millet,” Journal de Cherbourg (Oct. 3, 1841), pp. 3–4. ↩
- See Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 75. ↩
- Louise-Pauline Feuardent was born on Nov. 13, 1842, and the civil acte de naissance was recorded the following day, with Millet signing as one of the witnesses. See Archives départementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1842, 3E 129/122, acte de naissance no. 590. ↩
- For a discussion of Millet’s “manière fleurie” in connection to this portrait, see Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 82. See also George T. M. Shackelford and Mary Tavener Holmes, A Magic Mirror: The Portrait in France, 1700-1900, exh. cat. (Houston: The Museum of Fine Arts, 1986), pp. 26, 92–93, no. 30. Besides Antoinette Hebert and M. and Mme Feuardent themselves, Millet also portrayed Charles and Auguste Feuardent, the younger brothers of Felix-Bienaimé Feuardent; see Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 72 (where they are misidentified as “Charles et Joseph Feuardent”); and Lepoittevin 1971 (note 1), nos. 38, 39. Lepoittevin dates these two small portraits, which measure about 24 x 19 cm, to c. 1840–1841. ↩
- Millet’s first child, Marie, was born on July 27, 1846. Georgel 2014, p. 370. ↩
- Georgel 2014 (note 1), p. 371. ↩
- For instance, in 1864 Millet wrote to Sensier that “Feuardent has sent me two Pourtalès [sale] catalogues, but not the one for the paintings”(“Feuardent m’a envoyé deux catalogues Pourtalès, mais pas celui des tableaux”). Quoted in Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 257. ↩
- In an 1865 letter, for example, Millet requested that Feuardent gather various photographs of ancient and modern works while he was away in Italy. See Sensier 1881 (note 1), pp. 283–84. ↩
- Felix-Bienaimé Feuardent and his son Léon-Felix after him (who, from 1871, was Millet’s son-in-law), both collected Millet’s work. The bulk of the family’s Millet holdings, which consisted primarily of works on paper but also included some important paintings from the artist’s Cherbourg period, appeared in two auctions: Oeuvres de J.-F. Millet […] composant la collection de M. F… [Feuardent] (Paris, Hôtel Drouot, March 23, 1934), nos. 1–75; and Tableaux modernes (Paris, Salons du George-V, June 10, 1969), nos. 82–85. Millet’s portraits of Felix-Bienaimé and Louis-Antoinette Feuardent were auctioned separately, in 1964; see Tableaux modernes […] (Paris, Palais Galliera, December 12, 1964), nos. 27 (Portrait de Madame X…) and 28 (Portrait de Monsieur X…). ↩
- An 1865 letter from Millet to Feuardent, for instance, describes the terms of Millet’s business relationship with his patron Émile Gavet. See Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 288. ↩
- In a letter of March 1858 (Musée du Louvre, Département des Arts Graphiques, A1818), Millet relayed to Rousseau a message from Alfred Sensier, indicating that Rousseau owed Feuardent a payment of 500 francs. It is not specified that the payment was for coins, but this was highly likely given Rousseau’s collecting activity and Feuardent’s line of business. See J. Paul Getty Museum curatorial file: email correspondence between Simon Kelly and Scott Allan, dated September 19, 2020. ↩
- See Catalogue de la vente qui aura lieu par suite du décès de Théodore Rousseau, Hôtel Drouot […] (Paris: De l’imprimerie de J. Claye, 1868) [Lugt 30467]. The medals are listed on pp. 145–59. According to the “ordre des vacations” printed near the front of the catalogue, this portion of Rousseau’s collection was auctioned on May 2, 1868, with MM. Rollin & Feuardent acting as the experts. ↩
- See Sensier 1881 (note 1), pp. 307–8. ↩
- See the 1869 letter from Millet to Mme Feuardent quoted in Sensier 1881 (note 1), pp. 318–19. ↩
- “Mme Feuardent a du savoir que je n’ai pas accepté avec trop d’enthousiasme ma fameuse nomination des artistes de la Commune. Ma réponse a du être insérée dans plusieurs journaux.” Quoted in Sensier 1881 (note 1), p. 337n1. ↩
- See Sensier 1881 (note 1), pp. 330–31. ↩
- For the marriage record, see the Archives departementales de la Manche, Cherbourg, 1871, 3E 129/210, acte de mariage no. 127. ↩
- Georgel 2014 (note 1), p. 373. ↩
- Sensier died in 1877 and the biography finally was published in 1881. Mantz credits Feuardent, for instance, for supplying important information about Millet’s first teacher Bon Dumoucel; see Sensier 1881 (note 1), pp. 35–36n1. ↩
- See Sensier 1881 (note 1), pp. 39, 72, 227, 257, 283–84, 288, 307–8, 318–19, 330, 331, 337, 340. ↩
- Alfred Sensier, Jean-François Millet: Peasant and Painter, trans. Helena de Kay (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1881), p. 43. ↩
- See, for example, J.-F. Millet (1814–1875), exh. cat. (London: Wildenstein & Co. Ltd., 1969), no. 2; and “Acquisitions/1995,” The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal 24 (1996), p. 115, no. 45. ↩