Jean-Joseph de Laborde  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Jean-Joseph, marquis de Laborde (1724 – 18 April 1794) was a French politician. In 1792 much of the fabulous Orleans Collection of paintings was briefly his, before he was forced by events to abandon his ambition to exhibit them in his Paris house, and sold them.

Biography

Laborde was born near Jaca in Aragon, into a modest béarnaise family. When he reached adolescence he joined his uncle, who was head of a maritime import-export company at Saint-Jean-de-Luz, and took over as head of the business on the cousin's death. He based his subsequent fortune not only on this company, but also on transatlantic trade (supplying the American colonies with basics, in return for far more financially interesting products such as tropical fruits, rare trees and slaves) and his sugar plantations on Saint-Domingue (Haïti).

His dazzling rise, comparable to that of several bourgeois men of the age of Enlightenment, gained him promotion to noble rank and allowed him to acquire several estates. He became fermier général (1759-1767) on the suggestion of his friend the duc de Choiseul. He took up residence in the château de La Ferté-Vidame in 1764, redecorating it to his taste and commissioning several artists. However, following a game of musical chairs, he lost it in 1784 to the duc de Penthièvre, who had himself lost his domaine de Rambouillet to king Louis XV, who coveted its "terres giboyeuses" or wooded hunting lands. Laborde was named marquis and in 1784 acquired the castle of Méréville, rebuilding it to his taste.

In politics, he was ahead of his time and of the French Revolution, and (with Mirabeau) was one of the only noble députés (from the bailliage d'Étampes) to accept demotion to the Third Estate upon the Revolution. However, this was not enough to save him from being guillotined under the "loi des suspects" on the orders of Louis de Saint-Just, in one of the last fits of the Reign of Terror in May 1794. In 1792 much of the fabulous Orleans Collection of paintings was briefly his, before he was forced by events to abandon his ambition to exhibit them in his Paris house, and sold them.

Descendents

  • Pauline de Laborde (1765-1782), married Jean-François Pérusse 1st duc des Cars
  • Nathalie de Laborde (1774-1835), married Charles de Noailles, duc de Mouchy, was la petite mouche among the many mistresses of Chateaubriand
  • Alexandre de Laborde, archaeologist, soldier and politician, who continued his father's Revolutionary political views

See also




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Jean-Joseph de Laborde" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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