Historical Portraits Picture Archive

Portrait miniature of a Young Lady cutting roses from a rose bush, 1788 

Georges Nicolas Toussaint Augustin Dubourg (1758-1800)

Portrait miniature of a Young Lady cutting roses from a rose bush, 1788, Georges Nicolas Toussaint Augustin Dubourg
Watercolour on ivory
18th Century
Circular, 2 7/8 in (72 mm) high
Gilt-metal mount later applied with pierced silver foliate surround set with diamonds.

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Augustin Dubourg was one of the most celebrated and successful artists working in late eighteenth century France.

Recent scholarship has revealed that Dubourg, who was long considered to be a cousin of the better known painted Jean-Baptiste Jacques Augustin, was in fact his elder brother and most likely taught his younger sibling. It is known that the brothers collaborated on numerous works during the mid-1780’s and these works are typically unsigned for example Lady as Diana c.1785 [Tansey Collection, Celle]. By 1791 they had separated company and were exhibiting works individually and the present work therefore, dated 1788, is perhaps an early example of Dubourg working independently and of vital importance to a greater understanding of the artist’s oeuvre.

Dubourg frequently placed his sitters in an open landscape which was often painted in a quite distinct broad manner and often in gouache. The positioning of the woman’s body with her head facing the viewer and torso towards the rose bush was a celebrated method of the rococo period as it gave a greater sense of virtuosity and movement.

Dubourg uses a similar pose in a miniature in the Louvre (see P. Jean-Richard, Miniatures sur ivoire. Musée du Louvre. Musée d'Orsay, Paris, 1994, illustrated p. 106, no. 155)
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