A strong watercolor miniature portrait on organic wafer done by Simon Jacques Rochard. The subject of the painting, a distinguished gentleman wearing a white vest, shirt, stock, and a black coat with The French Legion Of Honour medal. He is posed in front of a white column, with some foliage to the viewer's left.
Along the right side of the painting, Rochard has signed "Rochard Spa 1815". Clearly this was done at the same time he had been summoned there by royalty (see Note 3, below). Housed in its original bronze frame, the painting and the frame are both in excellent condition, without any issues. The sight size of the painting is 3 1/4" by 2 5/8", with an overall size of 4 3/4" by 4".
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES: 1. Although born in Paris in 1788, Rochard spent the majority of his career working in London from 1816 to 1846, and died in 1872 in Brussels.
2. Simon began drawing in crayon at the age of 12 in order to support his mother and family. He later studied miniature painting under Bonnieu, Jean-Baptiste Isabey, and Louis Aubry, also copying miniatures for Pauline Augustin.
3. In November 1815 he was invited to Spa to paint a portrait of the Prince of Orange for his bride. Soon after he went to London, and at once commenced a highly lucrative practice among the aristocracy. Princess Charlotte, the Duchess of York, the Duke of Cambridge, and the Duke of Devonshire sat to him; and for many years he was a favorite court painter. He exhibited largely at the Royal Academy from 1816 to 1845, and also at the British Institution and the Royal Society of British Artists. Almost from the beginning he became very successful, enabling him to become wealthy and to collect old masters. His work is part of the collections of the V & A, the Louvre, the Ashmolean, and many other museums worldwide.