Charles-Borromee-Antoine Houry (1823-1898), French
NAPOLEON’S MISTRESS WITH HANDMAIDEN
Oil on canvas; signed and dated 1861 lower left
38.5" x 51.5" — 97.8 x 130.8 cm.
It is believed that this scene depicts Napoleon III’s mistress Eugenie, the last Empress of France, seated on the left with her companion Mme. Lebreton reading a letter on the right.
Charles Houry was born in Soignes, Belgium and died in Paris. He was a pupil of Cogniet at l’Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He became a French citizen and exhibited both portraits and genre subjects on faience at the Salon de Paris from 1850. He was connected to the manufacture of Sevres china and painted their wares with portraits and genre scenes. His paintings on canvas are considered rare.
Private Collection, Toronto by descent through the family