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François-Xavier Fabre (1766-1837)
Portrait de la duchesse de Feltre et de ses enfants

1810
toile (peinture à l’huile) H. 227 cm ; l. 276 cm
Signé et daté en bas à gauche : "Fs Xs Fabre 1810".
inv. 386
Legs Paul Marmottan (1932)
This large family portrait was exhibited at the Salon of 1810, at the same time as the full-length portrait of Henri Jacques Guillaume Clarke, the duke of Feltre, then Minister of War, an official commission also by Fabre. A third painting was added to the envoi (submission), a portrait of the Clarkes’ older son, Edgar, born in 1799 (Montpellier, Musée Fabre), which was executed in Florence in 1802, where the future duke of Feltre was French ambassador. General Clarke probably got to know Fabre in Tuscany.The large family portrait shows the Clarkes’ children (from the left): Edgar (born 1799), Arthur (1802), Elphride, the only daughter (1808), and Alphonse (1806). With the exception of the young girl, all the children are in fancy dress: the young Alphonse wears an oriental costume and frightens his sister with a mustachioed mask, while the two older boys wear costumes that one could describe as being in the “troubadour” style, since they accumulate