Portrait Of Dr Joseph Hippolyte Riembault

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A splendid 19th-century portrait of Dr Joseph Hippolyte Riembault sitting before a landscape and holding a dark red book in his left hand.

Dr Hippolyte Riembault was awarded the Legion Of Honour, which is the highest civilian (and military) order of merit in France. It was established by Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and often employed as a tool to ensure political loyalty.

It’s unclear why Joseph was given the award, but it’s potentially related to his work within medicine. Through our research, we’ve discovered that in 1835 he published a “Dissertation sur l'ictère ou jaunisse”, so perhaps this contributed towards his accolade. It’s also interesting to note that his right hand is held within his coat, as this could be a nod of respect to the former French Emperor.

The portrait is housed within its original gilded frame and a label bears the sitter’s surname.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
39⅓” x 32⅓” / 100cm x 82cm x 6cm
Year of creation
c. 1830
Good. Craquelure throughout but the paint layer is stable. Two signs of previous professional restorations. Frame with scuffs and minor losses.