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Work Presumed Portrait of Count de Palatiano in Souliot Dress

Department of The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix

Presumed Portrait of Count de Palatiano in Souliot Dress, Jules-Robert Auguste

© RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre) / Gérard Blot

The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix

Hélène Doré

Artwork attributed to Jules-Robert Auguste

This painting, acquired in 2004 at the Pierre Miquel auction, was attributed to Jules-Robert Auguste, an artist who played an eminent role in the circle of Orientalists in the 1820s. A student of the sculptor Cartellier, having won the first Prix de Rome for sculpture in 1810, he undertook series of voyages to Asia Minor, Greece, and Egypt following his sojourn at the Villa Medici. He returned with a great number of objects, fabrics, and weapons that he generously loaned to young artists. Delacroix made great use of his collection.


The hypothetical portrait of Count de Palatiano

This artwork is thought to be a portrait of Demetrius de Palatiano (1794–1849). Born into a prominent family from Corfu, the count traveled through Paris in 1825 on his way to England. During his brief stay, several artists painted his portrait wearing the uniform of a soldier in the Greek liberation army. He is depicted here standing, in Souliot costume with shimmery, gaudy colors, against a landscape background. The Souliots were Albanian Christians who had fled from the repression of Ali Pasha of Tepelena when he became governor of Yannina. They fought courageously during the Greek War of Independence.

Similar artworks

This artwork is very similar to a painting by Eugène Delacroix, engraved by Frédéric Villot, depicting the count in a similar posture, wearing the same costume and turban. It appears that the count’s portrait caught the attention of other artists: a watercolor was attributed to Richard Bonington (1801–1828), and there are pencil studies by Alexandre-Marie Colin (1798–1873), after an identical costume. The two artists undoubtedly observed the count’s portrait sittings in Delacroix’s studio.


Richard Parkes Bonington, “Du plaisir de peindre”, catalogue d’exposition, Paris, Petit-Palais, mars-mai 1992, pp. 64 - 67

Technical description

  • Jules-Robert AUGUSTE (Paris 1789 – id. 1850)

    Presumed Portrait of Count de Palatiano in Souliot Dress

  • Watercolor and gouache

    H: 19 cm; W: 13.5 cm

  • MD 2004-7

  • The Musée National Eugène-Delacroix

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