This is a stunning portrait of Jacques Cathelineau, Generalissimo of the Catholic and Royal Army of the Vendee. Like the painting of François de Charette by Jean-Baptiste Paulin Guérin, this is another highly sought after piece and very difficult to find.
He was a well known peddler in Anjou. When the Kingdom of France was abolished and the French First Republic was established, the revolutionaries committed atrocities against the civilians of the Vendée during the Reign of Terror. Cathelineau rallied an army of Vendean peasants, loyal to the Monarchy and the Church and waged an uprising against the revolutionaries.
As the War in the Vendée grew in success, Cathelineau joined forces with other counterrevolutionary leaders and was made Generalissimo of the Catholic and Royal Army. He inspired his troops by fighting alongside them on the front lines, which proved to be his downfall. In the summer of 1793, while he and his men were storming the city of Nantes, Cathelineau was shot down by a sniper and died soon afterwards.
He was widely loved and respected due to both his leadership and piety. His popular title became "The Saint of Anjou. "Given the great piety and courage Cathelineau shown in defense of the Faith, his beatification was proposed at the end of the 19th century. The most informative parts of the diocesan process were lost in a fire of the bishopric archives of Angers during it's bombing in 1944. He remains venerated as a holy man, even though he is not recognized as such by the Church.