This miniature portrait is signed "Saint" for Daniel Saint (12 Jan 1778-23 May 1847) the famous French artist who was born and died in St Lo, although he largely worked in Paris.
Daniel Saint specialised in miniatures and took part in most of the Paris Salon exhibitions between 1804 and 1839. He was awarded a second class medal in 1806 and a first class medal in 1808.
Saint, together with Isabey, were the principal miniaturists who painted official miniature portraits at Court. Napoleon commissioned a portrait from him, which was surrounded by 150,000 francs worth of diamonds, and was sent to Marie-Louise.
Apart from being popular during the Empire period, Saint was also one of the most popular miniaturists under Charles X and Louis-Philippe.
Leo Schidlof comments on him as follows; "Saint may be considered as one of the greatest French miniaturists of the 19C. He was very close to equalling Isabey and Augustin. In his works at the beginning of his career, he worked in a technique which resembles, to the point of confusion, the work of Isabey. Like the latter, he used "aerial" veils in his miniatures. Later he painted very broadly with a magnificent sureness and a pure and pleasant colouring.".
The signature is shown here and it corresponds with the signature on the various works by Saint which are illustrated in the Louvre catalogue. However, it has not yet been endorsed by an expert as a genuine signature.
This miniature is in fact very similar in style to the miniature in the Louvre collection shown here of Madame Edouard Julien, so much so, they could both be of the same person. The Louvre catalogue includes nine miniatures by Saint.
Judging by the costume, the hairstyle, and the use of flowers, the miniature would seem to date from around 1840, when Saint was aged 62, and hence must be one of his later works that Schidlof, as noted above, considered to be "painted very broadly".
The sitter is unknown. 1280