Laboriesiere - Miniaturesandhistory

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The tragic fate of Ferdinand the Lariboisiere
The painting of the battle of  Borodino by Louis Lejeune is well known. A 19th century masterpiece, painted in 1822 on which the battle of Borodino, also called the battle of Moscow, from September 1812 is painted from a French perspective. It can be admired in Versailles.
On the 2.10 by 2.60 large canvas the attack of the French troops is portrayed on one of the important Russian positions. There is much to see in the painting besides this attack. Russian prisoners, Marshal Berthier giving the captured Russian general Sokorffe his sword and, in the center, a dying officer who receives an award. And it is precisely from this scene that a flat, 40 mm pewter vignette has been available for several years. What is the story behind this part of the painting that is also available as miniature?

The persons on the painting
On the relevant part of the painting we see a dying officer who receives the cross of the Legion of Honor. The 21-year-old Ferdinand de Lariboisiere, lieutenant of the 1st regiment of the Caribiniers in the French army. Two of his comrades support him. Ferdinand was mortally wounded during the battle and was eventually found at the battle field and taken to his father's tent. His father can be seen in the picture as the person holding the wrist of the young lieutenant. The father, General of the artillery, Jean Abroise de Lariboisere, also accompanied Napoleon to Russia. The depicted scene also took place the evening after the battle in his tent and not during the battle in the open field.
The award is presented by a wing adjutant in a hussar uniform. There are sources that state that this must be the painter himself or the brother of Ferdinand. Both were present in Borodino. However, the painter neither the brother served in the army as a hussar it seems unlikely that it is one of them, but opinions about it are divided.

The next night the hasty funeral of Ferdinand takes place. His heart is, to the dislike of the doctor who has to carry it out, taken out to take with him to France. The remains are put in a quickly made box and buried  somewhere in an earthen wall of an abandoned village nearby. In this way his comrades hope that the grave will remain hidden and will not be violated by the Russians.
The army moves on to Moscow and will begin the dramatic retreat a few months later. Father Lariboisiere dies on December 21 in Koningsberg of exhaustion, and according to the annals, also in grief due to the loss of his son. His body is transferred to France where he is buried in Les Invalides. His heart appears in the chapel of his castle in Brittany, where that of his fallen son also is buried. The other son, Honoré-Charles, will come home and will later make a career in politics.
The Miniature
The 40mm flat pewter figure was made by Glorious Empires several years ago and can still be ordered there. It is remarkable that the figure depicts the uniforms of the two carabiners slightly better than the painter. For example, Lejeune has forgotten to paint the silver breast plaque on the left carabinier, while it can be seen on the figure.
Painting this figure is not easy. However, it is a figure that tells us a story.
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