Historical Portraits Picture Archive

A Noblewoman, wearing pink robes, fresh flowers in her powdered hair 18th century

 French School c.1790 

A Noblewoman, wearing pink robes, fresh flowers in her powdered hair,  French School c.1790
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Enamel on copper
Oval, 1 3/4in. (45mm) high
 
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Although it has not been possible to identify the artist of this enamel portrait, it relates closely to the paintings of Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766). The sitter bears a strong resemblance to the daughters of Louis XV and his queen consort Marie Leszczyńska, in particular to Anne Henriette de France (1727-1752).

By the time this enamel was painted in the middle of the eighteenth century, France had enjoyed a long history of fine enamel portraits, including the work of the internationally renowned Jean Petitot (1607-1691). By 1750, a new generation of fashionable artists were offering portraits in enamel, often mounted, as with this portrait, on snuffboxes. The technique used in this enamel is painterly compared to the stipple brush work so often employed by enamellers in the first half of the eighteenth century. It can be concluded that the work was painted by an artist used to handling watercolour rather than by those enamellers employed to decorate watch cases and other practical objects.
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