Madame Grand Portrait

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The portrait, Madame Grand, is a portrait work, achieved using oil and canvas using the rococo style and is signed and dated 1783. The use of oil and canvas, which is a common feature in most of the art work of the time could imply that these were the available portray materials at the time. The portrait measures 92 cm by using 72 centimeters tagged under woman portraits. The artist uses mild earthy hues to make the portrait. The portrait is a realistic depiction of a woman of Indian origin, Catherine Noele Worlee (1762-1833) protecting a musical slash. Later, Catherine Noele became the wife to George Grand Talleyrand, a minister, and diplomat and grew to become Madame Talleyrand-Perigord. The work was done by Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun.

Elizabeth Louise was a French portrait painter who lived between 1755 and 1842. Elizabeth was a daughter to a successful pastel portrait artist father and a mother who was a prominent hairdresser. Louise was married to a painter and protuberant art dealer, Jean-Baptise Pierre Le Brun, who contributed a lot to her work. He took her to Flanders and Holland to see works of prominent painters and promoting her work. He also asked for some works to lend to her to copy. She learned to paint through looking at other people’s work and taught herself to paint. Her work may be found in museums including the London’s National Gallery, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Hermitage Museum among others. She left a legacy total of 660 portraits and 200 landscapes.

The work was originally named by Elisabeth Louise as Madame Grand and later changed to Madame de Talleyrand-Perigord, Princesse de Benevent. The shade used on the skin of Madame Grand is clear rosy, implying she is a young lady who is healthy looking. The musical slash on the sitter depicts that she loved composing music or was a lover of music or was a singer. The pose by Madame Grand shows she is royalty or of high social class, it is a sophisticated pose. The dressing also supports her being from a reputable social class, the details on the dress. The ribbons, which are blue show royalty. The chair seated on is covered in deep green velvet material with a touch or gold lining the edges. This depicts an expensive home from which Madame Grand comes from.

The lighting of the portrait comes from a source, presumably a lamp. The shadows affirm the presence of a lighting source. The smile on the lady’s face portrays she is a happy person who is very friendly and warm. Madame Grand has thick blond and curly hair neatly tucked into place in a sophisticated way. The work makes me feel happy and lively, it is a piece of work that brightens a somber mood and brings a smile on the face. The choice of color, the posture, the texture and the theme of sophistication are both well blended to bring an atmosphere of calmness and royalty.

The work has since been displayed more recently in a variety of shows. The Masterpieces of Art of European paintings and sculpture of between 1300 and 1800 saw Elizabeth Louise’s work exhibited. This was in the New York World’s Fair of 1939. The work was also displayed at the Grand Palais show and the Kimbell Art Museum in Texas. Currently, the painting is part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s collections.

Work Cited

Bischoff, Ilse. "Madame Vigee Le Brun at the Court of Catherine the Great." The Russian Review 24.1 (1965): 30-45.

de Limay, Paul Ratouis. "Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, Painter and Pastel-List, 1715-1783." The Burlington Magazine for Connoisseurs 36.202 (1920): 35-45.

August 09, 2021

Sociology Art



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