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1685, but from that time disaster overtook the Huguenots of France, and almost every member of that faith, whatever his position or influence, suffered on account of his religion. The storm raged about the head of Petitot for some months, and at length pressure was brought to bear upon him that he should change his religion. The King protected him as long as it was in his power to do so, but eventually the skill and the popularity of the old artist counted for nothing in his favour, and he was arrested as a heretic with his niece, Anne Bordier, in 1686, and they were both confined in the prison of Fort l’Evque. By the instructions of the King, the great Bishop of Meaux, Jacques Bossuet, was sent to visit Petitot in prison, and he pressed him very hard indeed, with all the skill of which he was capable, endeavouring to convince the old man of the error of his ways. For a long time Petitot would have nothing whatever to say to him, but presently his health gave way, his strength had been undermined by his captivity, and he had been transferred from one prison to another more rigorous, and at last, in poor health and in great despair of mind, he consented to place his signature to an act of abjuration. The magistrates of Geneva had been making every effort on his behalf, and it is quite clear that the King himself was extremely anxious to seize some means by which Petitot could be released. The act by which the artist acknowledged his conversion afforded the King the opportunity which he sought, but Louis the Fourteenth, unwilling to acknowledge the true reason for the imprisonment of Petitot and his liberation, informed one of his sons, who came to thank him for the pardon given to his father, that he was quite willing to fall in, for once, with the whim of an old man who desired to be buried with his ancestors. Accordingly, at the beginning of the year 1687, Petitot, in company with a part of his family, left Paris, where he had been living for thirty-seven years, and, after passing through very serious perils, reached Geneva in safety.
At first he was not received with acclamation, and was looked upon as a man who had abjured his faith as the result of persecution. The Consistory of the Church of Geneva took steps to investigate the matter, and being informed of all the circumstances, and understanding that Petitot’s conversion was now the subject of a sincere and touching repentance on his part, absolved the old artist from the crime of which they considered he had been guilty, and received him back again into their communion. He made a solemn statement before them, that what they considered his apostasy was the result of the persecution he had undergone and the serious condition of his health, both of body and mind, in consequence; and then his reception back to the Huguenot communion was undertaken by the pastor of the parish church of St. Gervais. His confinement in prison, and the anguish he had gone through, had, however, made serious inroads upon his health, and it was some nonths before the old man
was himself again. The climate of his native country, the kind reception given to him by most of his friends, and the manner in which his change of faith had been set aside, soon conspired to put him into better spirits; and, despite the fact that a great many persons in Geneva, including some of his oldest friends, declined to have anything to do with him, he soon recovered his customary high spirits, and speedily set to work at his old profession. He had lost the larger portion of his fortune on leaving Paris, but had brought with him all the appliances for his enamel work, and he was just as skilful as
One of the first commissions he received was from John Sobieski, King of Poland, who had defeated the Turks before the gates of Vienna. He desired to possess a portrait of himself and his Queen in enamel, and the aged artist acquitted himself of the task most brilliantly, and sent a plaque, in which he had ingeniously combined the two portraits, to the King of Poland. In the picture the Queen was represented seated upon a trophy of arms, holding in her right hand a portrait of her successful husband, and the miniature was as brilliant in colour and as exquisite in execution as any work which Petitot had produced during the days of his youth. Another labour which engaged his attention was the reproduction of a celebrated picture by Lebrun, The Family of Darius at the Feet of Alexander, but this very large enamel he was never able to complete. It is still to be seen in Geneva at the museum, but should have been fired once or twice more to have attained to the utmost perfection of its beauty. Very quickly Petitot's work began to be known in the neighbourhood of Geneva, and numbers of well-to-do persons sojourning in that city went to see the illustrious artist, and commissioned their portraits at his hands. His means rapidly increased, and he was full of energy, when, on the 3rd of April, 1691, he was seized with an attack of paralysis, while in the very act of painting on the enamel a portrait of his faithful and devoted wife. At seven o'clock in the evening he died, and his son Paul thus records the sad event in the same little journal to which we have already referred :
Puisque notre père a mis, dans le commencement de ce livre, une partie de ce qui lui est arrivé, il est juste que nous y ajoutions ses derniers moments lesquels n'ont pas été moins pieux et saints que pendant sa vie, puisqu'il n'a jamais eu autre chose dans sa pensée, jusqu'au dernier moment de sa vie, que de donner gloire à Dieu et d'embrasser son Sauveur, et qu'il a eu pour dernière parole : “Viens, Seigneur Jésus, viens bientôt!' Après quoi le bon Seigneur reçut son esprit, lequel il rendit, après quelques heures d'agonie, le jeudi 3 avril 1691, a 7 heures du soir, et a été mis le samedi 5, à 9 heures du matin, dans la tombe de Mme. de Blonay, dans l'église de Saint-Martin, à Vevey. Il avait quatre-vingt et quatre ans, quand il est mort, et travaillait le mardi de la semaine, dans laquelle il décéda le jeudi, au portrait de notre mère, qui est ce qu'il a toujours demandé à Dieu, de pouvoir travailler jusqu'à son dernier jour, ce qui lui a été accordé, puisqu'il n'a été qu'un jour malade.
Nothing need be added to a record so simple and so affecting.
Many persons have copied the work of Petitot, but he has never had
any real rival save in the person of his own son; and some of the works of Jean Petitot the younger so closely resemble those of his father that it is impossible to distinguish between them. The family genius in this respect appears to have died out with the death of the son, although the trade of a jeweller was carried on by other members of the same family. The little manuscript journal, which has been made available for the purpose of this new information, contains many more records relating to the family than those which have been quoted, but they refer to the descendants of Petitot's daughter Marie, who married a certain Jean Bazin. The writing of Petitot himself ends with the extract of 1674, the birth of his youngest child. A series of entries were then made by his son-in-law, continued after his death by his widow, and added to by other members of the same family, the last entry bearing date 24th of July, 1840, and recording the marriage of the lady who is the present owner of the book. In addition to the genealogical information contained in the journal, there are five drawings in it by Petitot made in Indian ink, representing the Birth of Christ, the Crucifixion, the Entombment, the Ascension, and a death's head, and to each of them are appended explanatory texts. The remainder of the book is occupied by a very long religious exhortation addressed by Petitot to his family, and by a series of shorter exhortations, prayers, meditations, and passages from Holy Scripture. Some of the prayers are taken from the works of Du Moulin, others were written for Petitot by Monsieur Turtin, a pastor at Geneva, and others again were composed by the artist himself. His handwriting was exceedingly clear and legible. With the exception of the additional entries made by bis descendants, all the rest of the journal is in Petitot's own handwriting, and he was himself responsible not only for the two portraits it contains, but for the title-page and five illustrations. The whole volume affords a most pleasing record of a very great artist, and lovers of the work of Petitot will be grateful to the Historical Society of the French Protestant Church for having undertaken to print a great portion of the journal, and to M. Stroehlin for his recent volume on Petitot and Bordier, and the investigations which have enabled him to give so much definite information respecting the story of the two friends.
The exquisite enamels of Petitot are well known to all collectors. They should perhaps now be called works by Petitot and Bordier, as it is perfectly clear that each partner was concerned in their execution. There is an interesting collection of them in the Louvre, numbering over forty genuine examples, and about a dozen which may or may not be from the same atelier, and some of which no doubt belong to the younger Petitot. At Chantilly there are seventeen, including four portraits of Louis the Fourteenth, representations of various members of the Condé family, two fine portraits of Madame de Montespan, and one of her sister, the Abbess de Fontevrault, and à portrait of Ninon de l'Enclos ; but the largest collection in existence is to be found in the Jones section at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Here there are no less than fifty-eight examples, including some of the most beautiful works Petitot and Bordier ever executed. At Windsor there are seventeen, and others are to be found in most of the great collections of miniatures. The Baroness Burdett-Coutts possessed several, including delightful portraits of Charles the Second and James the Second, the latter of which was a present from the Duke of York to Mrs. Godfrey. Lord Fitzhardinge, Lord Wemyss, the Duke of Richmond, Lord Chesham, Lord Cadogan, Earl Beauchamp, and the Duke of Rutland are amongst those who possess fine examples of these precious enamels, but the best private collection is in the possession of the Earl of Dartrey, and it includes a portrait of the elder Petitot, signed 'Petitot Le Vieux par luy-même, one of the younger Petitot, signed 'Petitot fait par luy-même, d' ge de 33 ans, 1685,' and two portraits of the wife of Jean Petitot the younger, on one of which is this inscription, ' Petitot a fait à Paris en janvier 1650 ce portrait qui est celui de sa femme.'
Lord Dartrey also possesses portraits of Madame de Sévigné, James the Second, the Duc d'Orléans, the Countess of Bedford, the Duke of York, Madame de Montbazon, the Princesse de Bernouville and of several persons whose names are not known, including a very beautiful one of an ecclesiastic. In the possession of the Queen of Holland is the second portrait of Petitot the elder, signed and dated 1650, and portraits of the Princess of Orange, of William the Third, of Louis the Fourteenth, and of Madame de Maintenon, while M. Ernest Stroehlin himself, in his collection in Geneva, has the third portrait of the old artist, and half-a-dozen other fine examples of work of Petitot and Bordier. One of the most superb enamels the partners ever executed belongs to Mr. Alfred de Rothschild. It is a gold snuff-box, and bears upon it on the top, on the bottom, and on each side, a series of beautiful portraits of the celebrated ladies of the French Court. There are very many works by PetitotBordier in the Hermitage collection at St. Petersburg, and others are to be found in Berlin, Vienna, Dresden, and Buda-Pesth.
Until within recent times the work of Petitot has only been known in enamel, but lately three important drawings on paper have been discovered, and all three are in the famous Pierpont Morgan collection. The largest represents La Comtesse de Feuqui res, the friend of Mignard and of Madame de Sévigné, and is inscribed in ink on the reverse 'donné par M. Petitot à madame La Comtesse de Feuquiers [sic] en 1673.' This is in the same handwriting as appears in the manuscript book, and is therefore evidently the work of the artist himself. The other two drawings are even more interesting. They represent Anne of Austria and Phillippe, Duc d'Orléans, and are
signed by initials, in a monogram, which appear to be J. P. It is suggested that they are the original drawings for two enamels of these exalted personages which appear in the collection at the Louvre. The one of the Duc d'Orléans exactly resembles the enamel which happens to be the only portrait of the Duc, by Petitot, known to exist. The other, of Anne of Austria, is almost exactly like the enamel, but in the drawing the Queen has a crown on her head, which is represented as slipping off backwards, and which does not appear in the finished enamel. A French critic has suggested that this drawing is the work of Pierre de Jodé, who engraved a portrait after Nocret of Anne of Austria, but as the two drawings are identical in size, colouring and technique, and as the one of them exactly resembles the finished enamel and the other very closely resembles it, save in the omission of the crown (which did not add to the charm of the portrait and the omission of which distinctly improved the enamel), we are disposed to accept them both as the preparatory sketches by Petitot for his enamel portraits ; and these two and the one just mentioned constitute the only three drawings at present known to exist. Mr. Pierpont Morgan owns one other remarkable drawing which has been attributed to Samuel Cooper. It exactly resembles Petitot's famous signed miniature of Mary Duchess of Richmond and Lenox, already referred to, and which is, by the way, the largest work of that artist save the one at Chatsworth, and is one of the chief treasures of Mr. Morgan's collection. The drawing very closely resembles a similar one at Welbeck, and each of them is almost an exact copy of the picture by Vandyck at Windsor Castle, save that they omit the attributes of St. Agnes, the lamb and the palm branch. It would seem possible that Cooper made a watercolour drawing from the Vandyck in order that Petitot might make his enamel, or it is possible that Petitot also made a copy of the Vandyck. The two drawings, the one at Welbeck and the one in Mr. Morgan's collection, are not absolutely identical. The colouring of the Morgan one is richer and bolder than that of the one at Welbeck, and it differs in some minute points from the original Vandyck. It is absolutely identical, however, with the finished enamel, and we are inclined to suggest that the one at Welbeck is the work of Cooper and the one at Princes' Gate the work of Petitot or of Bordier, but this suggestion is made tentatively, as perchance some further information may come to light which will assist in determining the attribution.
A few words may perhaps be added respecting Pierre Prieur, who was referred to at the beginning of this article. We know that he married Marie Petitot, but beyond this we have little information respecting him. In 1669 he was in England painting a miniature of Charles the Second, and another of Lady Castlemaine, both after Cooper and executed for the King of Denmark, for whom he had been working for some time. In 1670 we hear of him in Poland