Author: N / A
Material / technique: oil on canvas.
Dimensions: 64x44 cm.
Michał Deszert (1730–1792) was a Polish-Lithuanian nobleman of French descent, and the grand chamberlain of Navahrudak. Having married the daughter of the grand chamberlain of Smolensk and the Deputy Pantler of Zhytomyr, he farmed her dowry estate at Szumlanszczyzna (now in Ukraine), and managed the neighbouring lands of the Poniatowski family. In 1784, he was living in Lvov. The family had five daughters and a son, and, according to contemporaries, their home was famous for its hospitality and respectability. Their son Józef (1760–1838) served at the court of Stanisław Poniatowski from 1780, and was appointed his personal secretary. Roman Wybranowski, a grandson of Józef Deszert and the son of his daughter Salomea, became a colonel in the Polish army, and took part in the Napoleonic Wars and in the 1831 uprising. This portrait of Michał Deszert was painted during a period of growth of the national spirit, in the wake of the Constitution of 3 May 1791, and shortly before the uprising of 1794. It is a typical likeness of a late 18th-century local nobleman, whose position is shown by his dress (kontush), his coat of arms, and an inscription (possibly added later). The Enlightenment spirit is reflected in the artist’s attempt to give the person a natural posture, by officialdom giving way to simplicity. It used to be held in the same collection as portraits of Michał Deszert’s wife Barbara and his daughter Salomea Wybranowska, the wife of the grand chamberlain of Lublin, which are now in private collections in Poland.
Reference: "RES PUBLICA" The art collection of the law firm Ellex Valiunas. Compiler R. Jononienė. Vilnius, 2018, P. 118.
Published: "RES PUBLICA" The art collection of the law firm Ellex Valiunas. Compiler R. Jononienė. Vilnius, 2018, P. 119, Cat. No. 53, P. 222.