The House in Portman Square of His Excellency L. G. Otto, Minister Plenipotentiary from the French Republic, to the Court of Great Britain as it appeared on the night of the general illumination for Peace, the 29th of April 1802

  • About the work
    Location
    Country: France
    City: Paris
    Place: British Embassy

    This work shows the London residence of Louis-Guillaume Otto, Comte de Mosloy (1753/54-1817) in Portman Square, Westminster, in 1802. Jacques Lauriston, first aide-de-camp to Napoleon, was selected to convey consent to the Peace of Amiens in 1802. Lauriston arrived at the home of Otto and was reportedly ‘greeted with enthusiastic cheers by a vast concourse of people’ before the signing of the preliminary agreement for the Treaty in Downing Street.

    In his book ‘Old and New London’ (1872-78), Edward Walford explains the illuminations seen in this work:

    ‘A very curious print is in existence showing the illumination of M. Otto's house in celebration of this event. On the front was a row of large oil lamps forming the word 'Concord' and on either side were the initials 'G.R.' for George III, and 'R.F.' for Republique Francaise... This illumination was somewhat unfortunate, for a London mob, unwittingly, interpreted 'Concord' into 'Conquered'. All the ambassador's windows were smashed in consequence. When the word 'Concord' was removed, its place was supplied by 'Amitie'; but the stupid mob read this as 'Enmity', and insisted on its removal also.'

  • About the artist
    Joseph Constantine Stadler was a prolific German émigré engraver of images after his contemporaries. His engravings are wide-ranging in subject matter and include landscapes, seascapes and portraits, as well as military, sporting and decorative subjects. Stadler was employed by the leading print publisher of the time, John Boydell (1720-1804). On 23 March 1799 Stadler married Ann Elizabeth Sandman at St Anne’s Church, Soho, in London. He was living in Knightsbridge when he died at the age of 73.
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  • Details
    Title
    The House in Portman Square of His Excellency L. G. Otto, Minister Plenipotentiary from the French Republic, to the Court of Great Britain as it appeared on the night of the general illumination for Peace, the 29th of April 1802
    Date
    published 1 July 1802
    Medium
    Hand-coloured aquatint
    Dimensions
    height: 65.50 cm, width: 84.00 cm
    Acquisition
    Purchased from Christie's, 24 May 2002
    Provenance
    Christie's, "The London Sale", 24 May 2002 (Lot 52)
    GAC number
    17692