2004
Volume 53 Number 1
  • ISSN: 2589-4617
  • E-ISSN: 2667-2081

Abstract

Abstract

This biographical sketch of the little-known French pastellist Susanne Caron focuses on September 1769, when, some eighteen months after her arrival in Holland, her name suddenly appeared in newspapers throughout Europe. In Amsterdam, she portrayed Pascal Paoli (1725-1807), the elected leader of the Corsican republic. After suffering a crushing defeat by the French invaders, Paoli was on his way to London to get military support. Newspapers claimed Caron’s portrait was Paoli’s first true likeness and carried publicity for its engraving by Jacob Houbraken. A fascinating glimpse of Caron’s personal feelings about Paoli is provided by an autograph letter (one of several newly discovered biographical documents) to professor Pieter Burman. Burman was one of the ideologists of the ‘patriot’ faction and looked upon Paoli as an incarnation of ‘true liberty’, as opposed to the hereditary stadholder. Caron never managed to cash in on her fame. In 1771, she married a compatriot and left for the West-Indies.

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