Chatillon, Adrien-Charles

Download image: 
Chatillon, Adrien-Charles
The Family of Lucien Bonaparte
ca. 1812
Pencil on paper; ruled border partially marked for transfer at lower right; some blue pencil below pencil border.
Full sheet: 10 9/16 x 14 3/16 inches (268 x 359 mm); design area: 8 1/4 x 11 3/8 inches (208 x 289 mm)
Purchased as the gift of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman.

Chatillon belonged to the circle of artists around J.A.D. Ingres in Rome in the early years of the nineteenth century. Like the celebrated master, he counted Napoleon's family among his patrons. Chatillon came to know Napoleon's brother, Lucien Bonaparte (1775-1840), during his exile in Rome, which began in 1804, eventually assuming responsibility for Bonaparte's collection of fine arts.
Schab identified the setting of this family portrait as the Villa Rufinella in Frascati. Lucien and his three daughters are shown making music: Charlotte (1795-1865) sings from a score while Christine (b. 1798) takes the keys, and Laetitia (1804) shares a book with her father. Caroline Boyer (b. 1776), the mother of Charlotte and Christine, died in 1800, and Lucien subsequently married Laetitia's mother, Alexandrine de Bleschamps. The bust of Minerva on a pedestal, along with a globe and a relief evoking the Apollo Belvedere on an easel, reflect the importance Bonaparte placed on the cultural education of his daughters.
A second drawing by the artist of the Bonaparte family outside the villa is held in the Museo Napoleonico, Rome. Chatillon's mentor, Ingres, would make his most ambitious group portrait study three years later featuring Alexandrine, her children with Lucien, and Charlotte (Harvard University Art Museums, Cambridge, Mass.)


Watermark: Upper part of watermark. Crowned shield, with horn and strap inside, fragment; Lower part of watermark. Initials "GM" below shield with horn inside.

William H. Schab Gallery, Inc., New York.
Associated names: 

Wrightsman, Jayne, donor.


Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Twenty-First Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1984-1986. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1989, p. 329.