English family of silversmiths, industrialists, collectors, and patrons, of French origin. The family originated from the town of St Pierre on the Ile d’Oléron off La Rochelle. They arrived in London a few years after the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, and between 1708 and 1780 three generations of Courtauld silversmiths were registered at the Goldsmiths’ Company. Augustine Courtauld (c.1686–c. 1751) was apprenticed to Simon Pantin in 1701 and, after becoming a freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company in 1708, he started a business as a plateworker in Church Court, off St Martin’s Lane in London. The majority of his work is of high quality, for example a silver tea-table (1742; St Petersburg, Hermitage) and the state salt of the Corporation of the City of London (1730; London, Mansion House). Augustine’s brother Pierre Courtauld (1690–1729) registered a mark in 1721...
Stephen T. Clarke, Harley Preston and Lin Barton
(b Paris, c. 1774; d Paris, bur Dec 3, 1860).
French painter, bronze-founder and collector. He was born into a family of bronze-founders. He studied in Jacques-Louis David’s atelier and on David’s arrest in 1794 accompanied him on his way to prison and with 16 of his fellow students signed an address to the National Convention calling for his master’s release. He exhibited for the first time at the Salon of 1798 both the full-length Portrait of a Man Skating, or the portrait of Bertrand Andrieu (Paris, Hôtel de la Monnaie), a rather stiff and awkward treatment of the subject in comparison with, for instance, Gilbert Stuart’s Skater (1782; Washington, DC, N.G.A.), and the Deluge (Gray, Mus. Martin), inspired by the poems of Salomon Gessner (1730–88) (the episode in which Phanor carries the fainting Semira). Delafontaine considered this painting to be his masterpiece. At the Salon of 1799 he showed the portrait of Alexandre Lenoir, a somewhat gauche, full-length depiction of the creator of the Musée des Monuments Français (Paris, Louvre). The portrait of ...
(b Aix-en-Provence, June 21, 1752; d Bouleau, Seine-et-Marne, Feb 13, 1830).
French sculptor and writer. He worked for a goldsmith in Paris before devoting himself to sculpture, in which he was self-taught. Thanks to an allowance from an uncle who had adopted him, he was able to study sculpture in Italy in the early 1780s; there he struck up a friendship with Jacques-Louis David. On his return he was approved (agréé) by the Académie Royale in Paris in 1788, and was received (reçu) as a member in the following year. On coming into a fortune, he returned in 1790 to Italy, where he lived until 1793, chiefly in Florence, Rome and Naples. He brought back with him what was the richest collection in France of plaster casts after antique sculpture, which he exhibited to the public at his house in the Place Vendôme, Paris. When, in 1796, Napoleon plundered some of the best-known antique sculptures of Rome, Giraud protested about their removal....
Harley Preston and Lin Barton
French family of bronze-founders, bronze-casters, dealers, publishers, paper merchants and artists’ suppliers. Jean Susse (1726–1809) was a cabinetmaker in Paris. His two sons Nicolas Susse and Michel-Victor Susse (b Paris, 1782; d Paris, 1853) went into partnership in 1806, opening a shop for fine writing-paper in the Passage des Panoramas, Paris. By 1816 they had also begun to sell artists’ materials and in 1827 they opened a further branch at 31, Place de la Bourse. Their business brought them into contact with several artists whose work they occasionally bought or took in exchange. Paul Gavarni owed his first success to drawings and paintings he exhibited at the Galerie Susse. The business soon became one of the best known in Paris for the sale and hire of contemporary paintings, to which the brothers added the publishing of artists’ manuals. Michel-Victor Susse’s eldest son, Victor Susse (b...