Regley de Koenigsegg Biography

Regley de Koenigsegg




Count Regeley de Koenigsegg (1823-1904) began a military career in the French navy in 1839. After three decades of service, in which he served in North Africa, Italy and Germany, he retired with the rank of Brigadier General and Commandeur de la Legion d'Honneur.

Koenigsegg had done drawing and some printmaking in the early 1850's but, after his retirement in 1885, began this series of miniature paintings in ink and watercolor. They are miniaturized versions of late 19th century French posters. Many are by identifiable poster artists of the time (Cheret, Lautrec, Rhead, etc.) but many others were posters, done as advertising for regional products; travel agencies, spas, bicycle manufacturers, beverages, etc. and, in many cases, may be the only documentation of these designs.

The watercolors, which are not signed, are meticulously detailed, often requiring a single hair brush. They are painted on a fine wove paper and tipped on to a coarse, somewhat acidic support paper on which he has often written the name of the original poster artist (i.e.: d'Apres Grün) in ink. The original group constituted over 400 images, bound into a number of linen notebooks, which had not been exposed to light and have retained their vibrant colors.