Madame Defly was reader to Princess Mathilde Bonaparte, cousin of Emperor Napoleon III. Through Princess Mathilde, the sculptor Carpeaux gained entrée to the imperial court. His medallion of Madame Defly at seventy-three, although she was not at all famous, is so winning that it proved to be one of his most popular creations.
Signature: By the edge, middle right side: signed and dated 1863
Atelier Carpeaux ; [their sale Galerie Manzi, Joyant & Cie. , December 8–9, 1913, no. 67] ; [ Galerie Durand-Ruel ] ; Palais Galliéra , November 27, 1974 ; [ Piasa (auction house), December 12, 2012, no. 194] ; [ David and Constance Yates ; sold to MMA]