Jacques-François Swebach-Desfontaines

1769 – 1823

A River Landscape with Figures gathering by and Inn


Pen, Ink and Watercolour on Paper




24.5(h) x 32.5(w) cms


Signed lower right: '1788 / Swebach des font'

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Jacques François Joseph Swebach des Fontaines (or Desfontaines) began his career as a pupil of his brother François Louis Swebach, a self-taught painter, sculptor and engraver. He went to study in Paris under Michel H. Duplessis, and from 1802 until 1813 he was employed as the leading painter at the Sevres porcelain manufactory.

Swebach made his debut at the age of 14 under the assumed name of Fontaine at the 1783 Salon de la Correspondance. He also exhibited in the same year at the Exposition de la Jeunesse and then again in 1788 and 1789. From 1791 he was to exhibit at the Paris Salon and in 1810 he was awarded the finest prize for his rendering of Napoleon crossing the Danube.

Jacques Francois Joseph Swebach was a very remarkable draughtsman and painter, providing drawings for historical pictures of the French Revolution and for French Campaigns under the Consulate and the Empire. In 1800 he obtained the commission for an equestrian portrait of Josephine Bonaparte for the palace at Malmaison.

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