The Grey Cat

Aimée Thibault attrib.


This adorable portrait has traditionally been believed to show Napoléon François Joseph Charles Bonaparte (1811-1832), ‘King of Rome’. Seated in a rose garden the blue-eyed child is wearing a white dress trimmed with red ribbon bows with matching red shoes and a coral beaded bracelet.

But delightful as the child is, it is the grey wide-eyed kitten with his long white whiskers that steals the show.

The circular portrait is set in a traditional papier-mâché frame with an unusual star and leaf hanger.

Napoleon’s son from his second marriage to Archduchess Marie Louise was painted numerous times as a child including on several occasions by Aimée Thibault (1780-1868), one such portrait being in the collection of Musée de l’Armée in Paris and another in the Louvre.

Item Ref. 6297

Size: framed, 135 x 124mm (5¼ x 4⅞")

Provenance: Edward Grosvenor Paine Collection, Christie's, 1979