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Henri-Ernest Grout de Beaufort

Pierre-Paul Prud'hon, French, 1758–1823
Henri-Ernest de Beaufort, 1798–1825
Oil on canvas
Made in
Western Europe, France, Europe
Current Location
On View, Gallery 205
16 3/16 x 13 1/8 in. (41.1 x 33.3 cm)
framed: 22 7/8 x 19 5/8 x 3 in. (58.1 x 49.8 x 7.6 cm)
Credit Line
Museum Purchase
Public Domain
Object Number
This young man with tousled hair and an open collar is the French naval officer and explorer Henri-Ernest Grout de Beaufort (1798–1825). Beaufort traveled extensively in Africa, particularly Senegal, collecting plants and rock specimens before his premature death at age 27. When Pierre-Paul Prud’hon painted this portrait, he was France’s premier society and court portraitist. His skill shows in the work’s dramatic lighting and Beaufort’s natural expression.
Beaufort Collection [1]

Lady Harcourt, London, England [2]

M. Knoedler & Co., Inc., New York, NY, USA, and Seligmann, Rey and Co. (Arnold Seligmann), New York, NY (owned jointly) [3]

1939 -
Saint Louis Art Museum, purchased from M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. [4]

[1] Although the title of the painting is "Arnauld de Beaufort," it depicts Henri Ernest de Beaufort (1798-1825), a French botanist and naturalist who was only twenty years old at the time this picture was painted. The bill of sale from M. Knoedler & Co., Inc. dated January 9, 1939, indicates that the painting is from the collection of Lady Harcourt, London: "The painting was always known as the portrait of Arnauld de Beaufort, who was said to be a naturalist. This is the tradition which held in the family from which it came before it passed into the possession of Lady Harcourt. It had been in this family for two generations" [SLAM document files].

[2] See note [1].

[3] The Knoedler stock card (A. 2080) indicates that Knoedler's and Seligmann each owned one-half share of the painting [Getty Research Institute, Provenance Index].

[4] See note [1]. Minutes of the Administrative Board of Control of the City Art Museum, January 5, 1939.
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