Oil on canvas: h. 95 cm, w. 74 cm
Important Louis XIV period gilded and finely carved oak frame
Framed : h. 119 cm, l. 95 cm
This magnificent, imposing effigy of Philippe d'Orléans immediately appeals with its warlike, majestic stance.
The prince, who became Regent of France between 1715 and 1722, chose to be portrayed as a warlord and protector of the kingdom.
All the elements of the ceremonial military portrait are present: the armor, the white sash, the baton of command, the background with the battle suggesting that the portrait was painted in situ, during the military campaign.
The prince looks imposing and majestic, covered in shining armor decorated with fleurs-de-lis, the symbol of his membership of the royal family. He wears in saltire the blue moiré cordon of the Order of the Holy Spirit and the red ribbon of the Golden Fleece.
The white scarf of general officers is tied around his waist.
His head is adorned with a loose leonine wig whose powdered chestnut hair cascades in thick curls over his shoulders.
His face, illuminated by bright, clear eyes, is imbued with authority and a benevolent expression that accentuates his Bourbon features: aquiline nose, thick lower lip.
Wearing a muslin tie and cuff, he proudly rests his right arm on a fleur-de-lys command baton.
The background, formed by a faded rose drapery on the left, opens onto a battlefield on the right.
His belligerent figure stands out against the orange background of a sky ablaze with fire, the flames of which are visible behind the earth mound.
Our work is a studio variant of a mid-thigh portrait by Jean Baptiste Santerre, of which two autographed versions exist.
- Portrait à mi-cuisse, d'après Jean Baptiste Santerre, oil on canvas, Château de Versailles, MV 7920
- Portrait at mid-thigh, oil on canvas, h. 140 cm, l. 104 cm, by Jean Baptiste Santerre, painted between 1715 and 1716, Prado Museum, Madrid
- Portrait at mid-thigh, oil on canvas, h. 126.4 cm, l. 101 cm, by Jean Baptiste Santerre, painted between 1710 and 1717, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery
Philippe d'Orléans, commonly known as the Regent, born August 2, 1674 in Saint-Cloud and died December 2, 1723 in Versailles, was regent of the kingdom of France during the minority of Louis XV.
Grandson of Louis XIII, he was the son of Louis XIV's younger brother, Philippe de France, Duc d'Orléans, known as "Monsieur". Initially Duke of Chartres, he became Duke of Orléans on his father's death in 1701; he was also Duke of Valois, Duke of Nemours and Duke of Montpensier.
On the death of Louis XIV, he became regent, and his rule, which lasted from 1715 until his death in 1723, was known as the Regency.
Philippe d'Orléans was indeed a man of war, during the last two wars of Louis XIV's reign (War of the League of Augsburg, War of the Spanish Succession): his first campaign took place in 1691 - at the age of 17 - when he took part in the siege of Mons, presided over by the king.
From then on, he demonstrated his proud and impetuous bravery: at Leuze, in September 1691, where he charged at the head of the cavalry; at Steinkerque in 1692, where he was wounded; at Neerwinden in 1693, where he led five successive assaults. In 1706, during the War of the Spanish Succession, Louis XIV entrusted him with the Italian army, but he was unable to resist the assaults of Eugène de Savoie's troops. The following year, he went to Spain, where he was again successful, notably in Catalonia, at Lérida and Tortosa.