Lot 190. Attributed to Marcello Bacciarelli Rome 1731 – 1818 Warsaw. Portrait of the King Stanislaw Poniatowski (1732-1798). Oil on canvas. 77,2 x 65 cm ; 30⅜ by 25⅝ in. Estimate 12,000 – 18,000 euro. Sotheby’s. 06/15/22
Portret Stanisława Augusta Poniatowskiego z atrybucja Marcello Bacciarelliego.
Stanislaw II August Poniatowski, born Stanislaw Antoni Poniatowski in 1732, was the brother of Andrzej Poniatowski, whose portrait we are presenting under lot number 191. When their father died, it was Stanislaw Antoni Poniatowski who took the titles of King of Poland and Grand Duke of Lithuania. Continuing with tradition, Stanislaus II Augustus acted as a protector of painters. Deeply interested in literature and art, he regularly attended Madame de Geoffrin’s salon and presided in his own right over gatherings to which intellectuals passing through Warsaw were invited. For his gallery, he commissioned his favourite artists, including the Italians Bacciarelli (one of whose portraits, from his own collection, is in this sale – see next lot) and Grassi, as well as the Swedish painter Krafft.
The size of his personal collection, to which he added continuously during his thirty-one year reign, can be appreciated from several inventories. One of the eighteenth century’s most important collections of paintings, it comprised almost 2,500 works, distributed among his various residences. Most of the paintings were sold when he abdicated in 1795 and are now in private hands or in museums around the world.
The present painting reprises a composition by Bacciarelli: the original is in the museum in Toruń, in Poland. Engraved by Johann Friedrich Bolt (see National Museum of Krakow; inv. MNK III-ryc.-50416), it was copied many times: among other examples, it can be found in a miniature in the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg (inv. ЭРР-4088).
The king is shown here with the blue sash and medal of the Order of the White Eagle on his breast; around his neck he wears the cross of the Order of the Black Eagle.