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
Hand-coloured aquatintpublished 1 July 1802
About the work
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
Auguste Charles Pugin, artist and architectural draughtsman, was born in Paris but settled in England during the French Revolution. After attending the Royal Academy Schools he worked for architect John Nash in Wales and later in London. Nash’s influence inspired Pugin’s interest in the Gothic style. He illustrated numerous topographical and architectural publications, including Ackermann’s ‘The Microcosm of London’ (1808-10). When, in 1818, he was commissioned to produce plates for ‘Specimens of Gothic Architecture’, he employed a team of architectural students to assist. His architectural designs include the interior of the Diorama in Regent’s Park (1823) in collaboration with James Morgan and the layout of Kensal Green Cemetery (1830).
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.
- 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
- published 1 July 1802
- Hand-coloured aquatint
- height: 65.50 cm, width: 84.00 cm
- Purchased from Christie's, 24 May 2002
- Christie's, "The London Sale", 24 May 2002 (Lot 52)
- GAC number