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Chevalier d'Eon

1 of 4 portraits of Chevalier d'Eon

Chevalier d'Eon, by Thomas Stewart, after  Jean Laurent Mosnier, 1792 - NPG 6937 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Chevalier d'Eon

by Thomas Stewart, after Jean Laurent Mosnier
oil on canvas, 1792
30 1/8 in. x 25 1/4 in. (765 mm x 640 mm)
Purchased, 2012
Primary Collection
NPG 6937


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The Chevalier d'Eon was a French soldier, diplomat and transvestite, who was declared to be a woman in 1777. D'Eon lived in Britain from 1762 as a man and from 1785 as a woman during which he was renowned for his public fencing demonstrations. He fought wearing a black dress like this one and his Croix de Saint Louis, awarded for diplomatic achievements on behalf of the French King. His cockade shows his support for the new French Revolutionary government who he wrote to, in 1792, offering to lead an army of women against France's enemies.