Mezzotint and etching. 430 x 285mm (17 x 11¼").
Oval mezzotint portrait of Charles-François Lebrun, duc de Plaisance (1739–1824), third consul of the French Republic. Published in the 'Collection complète des tableaux historiques de la révolution française'. Charles-François Lebrun, duc de Plaisance, prince of the Empire was a French statesman. He started his career during the Ancien Régime, making his first appearance as a lawyer in Paris in 1762. He filled the posts of censeur du Roi (1766) and then Inspector General of the Domains of the Crown (1768). Lebrun became a disciple of Montesquieu and an admirer of the British Constitution, travelling through Southern Netherlands, the Dutch Republic, and finally to the Kingdom of Great Britain. At the outbreak of the French Revolution in 1789, he foresaw its importance and in his volume La voix du Citoyen, published the same year, and predicted the course which events would take. After the voting of the 1791 Constitution, ineligible to the Legislative Assembly, he became instead president of the directory of Seine-et-Oise département. Lebrun was made Third Consul following Napoleon Bonaparte’s 18 Brumaire coup in 1799. In this capacity he took an active part in Napoleon's reorganization of the national finances and in the administration of France's départements. In 1804, he was appointed arch-treasurer of the French Empire. Although to a certain extent opposed to the autocracy of the Emperor, he was not in favour of his deposition, although he accepted the fait accompli of the Bourbon Restoration in April 1814. Louis XVIII made him a Peer of France, but during the subsequent Hundred Days he accepted from Napoleon the post of grand maître de l'Université. As a consequence, he was suspended from peerage when the Bourbons returned again in 1815, but was recalled in 1819.
[Ref: 28222] £90.00