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This late-18th century French school portrait of Michel Louis Melan, architect to Louis XVI, will be offered in Osenat’s auction on May 24 estimated at €10,000-15,000.

According to contemporary testimonies, Melan met his death on August 20, 1792, on the Pont Neuf or near the church of Saint Eustache because his distinctive red coat led him to be mistakenly identified as one of the Swiss guards defending the Tuileries palace who were attacked and killed by the French Revolutionaries storming the palace.

The giltwood framed re-lined oval oil on canvas, measuring 19½ x 23½in (60 x 50cm) and bearing the remains of an old handwritten ink label, was formerly in the collections of the Countess of Palikao and Norbert de Beaulieu.

It has an estimate of €10,000-15,000.

osenat.com