ÉMILE DESMAISONS Portrait of Vicomte de Beauharnais (1760-1794) ca. 1860 [R/V] - x +
DesE1860beau


CN: DesE1860beau

MT: albumen print on paper mounted on card (9x6 / C:10x6)

TX: embossed at lower right of picture <ED>, printed at lower left of margin in French <Collection E. DESMAISONS>, inscribed with fountain pen at lower center of margin <Bailly>, inscribed with pencil at rear upper left <Bailly>, printed at center <E. DESMAISONS / 22, Rue de l'Arbre-Sec / PRÈS LE PONT NEUF / PARIS / Ci devant Rue des Grands Augustine, 5 / Copyright Secured for England>, stamped below <MAISON / ALPH. GIROUX>

PR: Maison Alphonse Giroux, Paris

DN: Mr. Megakles Rogakos - 2009

CM: Alexandre François Marie de Beauharnais, Vicomte de Beauharnais (28 May 1760 - 23 July 1794) was a French political figure and general during the French Revolution. He was the first husband of Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, who later married Napoleon Bonaparte and became Empress of the First Empire. § His paternal grandparents Claude de Beauharnais (1680-1738) and Renée Hardouineau (1696-1744) were married in La Rochelle during 1713. His father François de Beauharnais, Marquess de la La Ferté-Beauharnais (1714-1800) served as Governor of Martinique. Alexandre was the third of three sons born to him by his first wife Marie Henriette Pyvart de Chastullé (1722-1767) - the first died in infancy, and the second was Francis VI of Beauharnais. His father was remarried in 1796 to Eugenie de Tascher de la Pagerie (1739-1803). § Alexandre was born in Fort-Royal (today's Fort-de-France), Martinique. On 13 December 1779, he married Joséphine Tascher de la Pagerie, the future Empress of France. They had two children: Eugène de Beauharnais (3 September 1781 - 21 February 1824) and Hortense de Beauharnais (10 April 1783 - 5 October 1837), later mother of Napoleon III of France. Alexandre fought in Louis XVI's army in the American Revolutionary War. He was later deputy of the noblesse in the Estates-General, and was president of the National Constituent Assembly from 19 June to 3 July 1791 and from 31 July to 14 August 1791. Made a general in 1792 (during the French Revolutionary Wars), he refused, in June 1793, to become Minister of War. He was named General-in-Chief of the Army of the Rhine in 1793. On 2 March 1794, the Committee of General Security ordered his arrest. Accused of having poorly defended Mainz during the Siege of Mainz in 1793, and considered an aristocratic "suspect", he was jailed in the Carmes prison and sentenced to death during the Reign of Terror. His wife, Josephine de Beauharnais, was jailed in the same prison on 21 April 1794, but she was freed after three months, thanks to the trial of Maximilien Robespierre. Alexandre was guillotined, together with his cousin Augustin, on the Place de la Révolution (today's Place de la Concorde) in Paris, only five days before the deposition and execution of Robespierre. Through his son, he became an ancestor of today's Royal Houses of Belgium, Denmark, Norway and Sweden. [Megakles Rogakos 12/2009]

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