Jean-Bapt. Balthazar Eugène Quesnet was born about 1815. We have been unable to find any biographical information on this very capable artist. This is earher unusual for such an obviouly gifted artist. He appearts to have been a portraitist. And we notice several beautiful canvases. One is 'Les enfants de M. Pierre-Paul Pecquet du Bellet' painted in 1859. The portrait shows a brother and sister The girl wears a low-cut blouse and huge skirt with petticioats showing. In America girls were almost always painted wearing dresses and nor blouses and skirts. The boy who has ringlet curls seems to be wearing a Scottish-themed outfit. Commonly we have information about the artist, but often not the subject of the paonying. In this case we know next to nothing about the artist and a great deal about the father of the children. Pierre-Paul Pecquet du Bellet was born in New Orleans (1816). He was an American attorney, author, and unofficial diplomatic agent of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War. Pecquet du Bellet as a southerner living in Paris was a strong Confederate supporter. He was fluent in French and assumed on his own the role of an important representative of the Confederacy in France. A major Confederare goal was to obtain rcognition by Britain and France--the two countries with navies powerful enough to challenge the Federal blockase and who neededsouther cotton for their textile mills. So as Pecquert explains it, he was 'taking up the pen, not being able to take up the sword'. He was hoping to obtain popular and political support away from the United States ambassador John Bigelow. He of course failed. France never recognized the Condederacy and actually he was never granted official status by the Condederate Government. After the war, he published a book high critical of the Confederate diplomacy. We vknow nothing anout Pecquet's daughter, but his son Henry like his father wasa invilved in Texas land soeculation as as well as an acrediuted diplomat. He appears to have been active in the Red Cross during World War I. This is American connection mis why this portrait is part of the collection at the musée de la coopération franco-américaine in Blérancourt.
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