It’s funny what you come across, when you aren’t even looking. Yesterday, while visiting the Throne Room in the Palace of Prince Albert II, the reigning Sovereign Prince of Monaco (Albert Alexandre Louis Pierre Grimaldi), I happened to notice a painting of of his great-grandfather, Prince Albert I, hanging to the left of the throne.
The 1894 painting of Prince Albert I is by Léon Bonnat. Bonnat was not only a teacher of my grandfather, Paul de Launay (a Valpinçon descendant through his paternal grandmother, Marie de Valpinçon) while he was at the Luxembourg, but was a teacher of his cousin Gustave Caillebotte as well. Paul de Valpinçon was a cousin of both Caillebotte and de Launay. Paul de Valpinçon’s lifelong friend, Edgar Degas, was also a student of Bonnat. Paul de Valpinçon and Gustave Caillebotte died in 1894, the same year as this painting.