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Chevalier d'Eon (Charles Geneviève Louis Auguste André Timothée d'Eon de Beaumont, 1728–1810)

Photo credit: National Portrait Gallery, London

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The Chevalier d'Eon was a French soldier, diplomat, spy and fencing demonstrator who lived as a woman from 1777. D'Eon first came to London in 1763 to negotiate the end of the Seven Years War. Rumours that d'Eon was a woman in disguise were encouraged by d'Eon and widely accepted. D'Eon used secret letters to blackmail the French king, Louis XVI and was paid an income from 1777 on the condition that d'Eon wore women's clothes. From 1785, d'Eon achieved fame in Britain as a celebrity female fencer.

National Portrait Gallery, London





oil on canvas


H 76 x W 64 cm

Accession number

NPG 6937

Acquisition method

purchased, 2012

Work type



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National Portrait Gallery, London

St Martin’s Place, London, Greater London WC2H 0HE England

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