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Marquis Cesare Alfieri di Sostegno from the Middleton Watercolor Album

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Marquis Cesare Alfieri di Sostegno from the Middleton Watercolor Album

Currently in storage

About this object

Born in 1799 in Turin, Italy, Marquis Cesare Alfieri di Sostegno (1799-1869) was the son of Piedmontese diplomat and politician Carlo Emanuele Alfieri di Sostegno. His youth was influenced by his father’s diplomatic career—at age seventeen Cesare joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and later became attached to the Sardinian embassy in Paris. In 1818 he was assigned to embassies in The Hague and Berlin. Cesare then partook in the Congresses of Aachen (1818), Troppau (1820), and Ljubljana (1821). These experiences culminated in his appointment as Ambassador to St. Petersburg in 1824. A letter written by Maria Middleton in 1840 suggests that Cesare and her sister Eleanor became romantically attached while in St. Petersburg. He nevertheless returned to Turin in 1826 to marry Countess Luisa Irene Costa della Trinità and serve as First Squire to Charles Albert, Prince of Carignano. Charles Albert appointed Cesare to his newly formed Council of State in 1836 and the Agrarian Association of Turin in 1842. Cesare was integral to the founding the Ministry of Public Instruction in 1847 as well as the establishment of the Statuto Albertino, Italy’s first constitution, in early 1848. Between August and October 1848 Cesare acted as Prime Minister of Sardinia. He then held the position of President of the Senate of Sardinia from 1855 to 1860. Cesare died in Florence in 1869.

The oval bust-length portrait portrays Cesare Alfieri di Sostegno facing partly left, eyes looking forward, against a background of grey clouds. The young marquis is shown with tousled dark hair, a moustache, and sideburns. He is dressed in a dark blue uniform with a dark blue, red, and gold collar, gold buttons, and gold epaulettes. He wears three crosses, including the Cross of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus.

Object name:
Marquis Cesare Alfieri di Sostegno from the Middleton Watercolor Album
Made from:
Watercolor on paper
Date made:

Detailed information for this item

Catalog number:
Signature marks:
Inscription __Marchese Cesare Alfieri __Bottom of page __In cursive
Credit line:
Museum Purchase, 2004