Stipple and etching. 235 x 145mm. 9¼ x 5¾". Some spots of foxing.
Charles-Geneviève-Louis-Auguste-André-Timothée d'Éon de Beaumont (1728 - 1810), usually known as the Chevalier d'Eon. He wears a lace-trimmed cape over his gown, a ribbon around his neck and a lace cap, with pearl earrings and military order attached to a rosette on his breast. A French diplomat, soldier and Freemason who lived the first half of his life as a man and the second half as a woman. Living in England in 1785, he lost his pension after the French Revolution and had to sell his library. In 1792 he sent a letter to the French National Assembly, offering to lead a division of women soldiers against Austria, but the offer was rebuffed. He participated in fencing tournaments until he was seriously wounded, in 1796. After a trial in 1777 about his actual sex he wore female attire until his death. A surgical examination proved him male.
From the Norman Blackburn Collection.
[Ref: 20080] £70.00