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Prince Charles de Ligne

1759 Brussels – 1792 La Croix–aux–Bois/Ardennes

Charles de Ligne was the eldest son of a field marshal and diplomat, Charles-Joseph de Ligne, seventh prince of an old noble family from the southern Netherlands. Like his father, Charles successfully pursued a career as an officer, making his mark inter alia during the war between Russia and Turkey from 1788 to 1791. However, his real passion was for art, to which he devoted himself as both a collector and dilettante artist. To this end he underwent training, amongst others, at the hands of the Belgian painter and engraver, Antoine Cardon, and the engraver and etcher, Adam von Bartsch, curator of the Imperial Court Library in Vienna. Whereas de Ligne’s interest as a draughtsman was mainly in reproducing works by old Italian masters, as an etcher he produced works after his own invention as well as prints after Johann Christian Brand.