Camée en agate de Morelli. Napoleon Ier.

Superbe camée en agate jaspe rosée représentant le buste de Napoléon, couronné de laurier, de profil vers la droite (32 x 25 mms). Travail du fameux Nicolo Morelli (1771-1838), qui fit plusieurs camées représentant les membres de la famille impériale.
Parfait état d’origine.
Italie, vers 1805.
Signature de MORELLI au pied du buste.

Morelli, Nicola [Niccolò]
(b Rome, 12 Sep 1771; d Rome, Feb 1838). Italian gem-engraver. He was a member of the Congregazione dei Virtuosi del Pantheon and the Accademia di S Luca (1812). He was renowned for his cameo portraits, preferring the technique to that of intaglio. Particularly noteworthy are the portrait of Francis I, Emperor of Austria (Vienna, Ksthist. Mus.) and the numerous works commissioned by the Bonaparte family. These include a cameo portrait of Marie-Letizia, a cameo with facing portraits of Lucien Bonaparte’s two wives, Cristine Boyer (1773–1800) and Alexandrine Blechamps (1778–1855), another cameo portrait of Alexandrine Blechamps (all Rome, Mus. Napoleonico) and two portrait cameos of Napoleon (Rome, Villa Giulia; ex-Liverpool Mus.), the latter example given by Napoleon and Empress Marie Louise to Marshal Ney and his wife. (For an illustration of another cameo portrait by Morelli of Napoleon see GEM-ENGRAVING, fig. 17.) Morelli created (1807) a well-known parure that was given by Cardinal Joseph Fesch to his half-sister Marie-Letizia Bonaparte: the necklace, brooch and earrings contained nine cameo portraits of the Bonaparte family: Napoleon I, Cardinal Fesch, Louis, King of Holland, Joseph, King of Naples and Spain, Carlo Maria Bonaparte, Lucien, 1st Prince of Canino, Jérôme, King of Westphalia, Pauline Borghese and Caroline Murat.