Salomon Guillaume Counis (Swiss, 1785-1859) Miniature Portrait

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Our impressive reverse painting on glass of a young gentleman is attributed to Salomon Guillaume Counis (Swiss, 1785-1859).  It measures 5 1/8 inches tall and 4 1/4 inches across, and is mounted in its original silver frame.  Signed "Counis" above the shoulder on the right side.

The artist was born in Kölleda in Thuringia, near Sömmerda.  The son of an engraver, he studied with Wolfgang Adam Toepffer and in Paris with Anne-Louis Girodet de Roucy in 1808.  He was the painter of Élisa Bonaparte, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and sister of Napoleon who took him in 1810 to Florence where he has awardedthe title of "court enamel painter".  During the Restoration he moved to Geneva, and returned to Paris in 1815. He eventually settled permanently in Florence in 1830.

In Paris, he exhibited at the Salon from 1810 to 1812, achieving a gold medal in 1812. 

He authored a treatise on enamels entitled "Some memories followed by a dissertation on enamel on porcelain and a small treatise for the use of the painter in enamel" (Éditeur Galileienne, 1842).

Subjects he painted included:  

• Portraits of Marie-Anne Elisa Bonaparte and her daughter Napoléone Elisa Bacciochi ( Louvre Museum )

• La Galatée after Girodet (enamel)

• Enamel portraits of members of Napoleon's family painted in Florence in 1810 and following years ( Ajaccio Museum )

• Portrait of Count de Forbin , exhibited at the Salon of 1817 (gold medal)

• A young peasant woman in prayer, exhibited at the Salon of 1817

• Portrait 'La belle Grecque', Marie Pauline Bonaparte , Princess Borghese, painted in 1810 ( Uffizi Gallery , Florence)

• Portrait of Madame de Staël after Baron Gérard , exhibited at the Salon of 1822

• Portrait of Louis XVIII after Paulin Guérin : the prince deigned to congratulate the author on his talent on the occasion of this portrait

• Four portraits of the Duke and Duchess of Berry, during the birth of the Duke of Bordeaux

• Three portraits of the Duchess of Berry in her widow's costume, executed according to the princess's intentions

• 18 enamels after Correggio , Andrea del Sarto , Rubens , Raphaël , Titian (Museo Civico d'Arte Antica and Palazzo Madama, Turin )


Item Details

Reference #:
Antiques (approx100yrs)
19th C
(Width x Height X Depth)
x x
glass, metal