Portrait of Constance-Marie Charpentier

Jean-Joseph Ansiaux

The Raphaël and Françoise Haeven Fund has financed the acquisition of a magnificent 18th century portrait of Constance-Marie Charpentier. Painted by Jean-Joseph Ansiaux, the work has been entrusted to the Grétry Museum in Liege. Set up by two philanthropists, the Raphaël and Françoise Haeven Fund supports conservation of Liege’s artistic heritage by offering beautiful gifts such as this to their city. 

Born in Liege, Jean-Joseph Ansiaux (1764-1840) began work in his native city, before moving to Paris where he developed his career. He studied under the painter François-André Vincent and made a reputation for himself as a painter of ministers and generals of the First Empire. Various works by Ansiaux can be seen in the Fine Arts Museum and Cathedral in Liege.

Jean-Joseph Ansiaux’s portrait of Constance-Marie Charpentier (1767-1849) dates from this same period. Born Bondelu, Constance-Marie was herself a painter in Paris and a student of the famous Jacques-Louis David, considered to be leader of the Neo-Classical movement. She is known for her genre scenes and beautiful portraits of women and children and she won several prizes in the Paris Salons. Her husband, François Charpentier, was the brother-in-law of Georges Danton, member of the National Assembly during the French Revolution.

Contemporaries of Grétry, whom they both knew in Paris, Ansiaux and Charpentier are now at the Grétry Museum in Liege, adding a personal reminder of Grétry’s stay in Paris. The portrait from this period completes the museum’s collections on an intimist note, as we can also see there the master’s pianoforte and a harp, recently restored with help from the David-Constant Fund, managed by the King Baudouin Foundation.

Material / technique: 
Oil on canvas
32,5 x 24 cm
Type of acquisition: 
Acquired by the Raphaël and Françoise Haeven Fund
Year of acquisition: 
Depository institution: 
Musée Grétry , Liege