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Description

Military Silhouette: French Cuirassier and English 15th Hussar by William James Hubard, 1825. 18" x 14". Cut paper mounted on board, watercolor, and gold paint. The exquisitely cut silhouette of a Napoleonic era cavalry duel is signed at the bottom "James Hubard invenit et fecit [invented and made] 10th February 1825 New York". Minor soiling, light chipping to the left edge and the upper right corner. A repaired crease along the right edge, else very fine. A remarkably large and complex example of Hubard's early work.

Even as a young child William James Hubard displayed a remarkable talent for cutting likenesses with scissors. As his reputation as an artistic prodigy grew, he was commissioned to cut silhouettes of the Duchess of Kent and her daughter Princess Victoria, later Queen Victoria. In 1824, at the age of seventeen, Hubard left his native Britain and sailed to the United States. Under the sponsorship of a man named Smith, Hubard opened a Papyrotomia, the Hubard Gallery, developing a considerable reputation as a silhouettist, first in New York, and then in Boston. In 1827, the young artist and his agent parted ways with Hubard studying portrait painting under Gilbert Stuart. He became an accomplished portraitist, painting such luminaries as John Marshall and John C. Calhoun. In the 1850s Hubard expanded his talents to include sculpture, receiving permission from the Virginia General Assembly to replicate the Houdon statue of George Washington. Hubard established a foundry in Richmond, Virginia to cast his bronzes. With the outbreak of the Civil War, Hubard was determined to help the young Confederacy by converting his foundry from art to producing cannon and shells. In February of 1862, while experimenting with a ball for the Brook gun, Hubard was killed in an explosion at the foundry.


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Auction Info

Auction Dates
July, 2009
25th Saturday
Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
Page Views: 1,962

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