Florimonde Parat de Montgeron (1740–1788) married Jean Claude François Perrin, marquis de Cypierre (1727–1789), a member of the Grand Conseil from 1747 who was appointed Intendant of the King in Orléans in 1760. In the latter capacity Cypierre was responsible for the finances of the généralité of Orléans. He also speculated in Paris real estate and was both well placed and evidently very rich. Nothing is known of his wife. The couple had a son, called Adrien Philibert, in 1759. Their grandson Casimir was a well-known collector of eighteenth-century art who may have owned the picture at his death in 1844. However, these are suppositions, based on circumstantial evidence: in the Casimir Perrin de Cypierre sale catalogue there is a description which could apply to the present painting, but even if the identification is correct, the sitter is not named.
This portrait, signed and dated 1753, is a late work. While the palette is typical, the format, with the shelf or railing in the foreground supporting a basket of closely observed and carefully painted flowers, is unusual. The young woman's high color, forthright gaze, and very tightly curled hair are highly individual.
[Katharine Baetjer 2011]
Inscription: Signed and dated (center left, on tree trunk): [N]attier. p. x. / 1753
?Jean Claude François Perrin de Cypierre, marquis de Cypierre (until d. 1789); ?Adrien Philibert Perrin de Cypierre, marquis de Cypierre (from 1789); ?Casimir Florimonde Joseph Perrin de Cypierre, Paris (until d. 1844; his estate sale, Paris, March 10 ff., 1845, no. 91 as "Jeune femme tenant des fleurs dans ses deux mains. Elle est vue de trois quarts sur un fond de paysage. Robe blanche décolletée, léger châle de soie bleue, noué sur le sein," for Fr 295); ?Mrs. Isabella Maria Malton, London (until 1892; her estate sale, Christie's, London, March 10, 1892, no. 167, as "Portrait of a Lady, with a basket of flowers," for £106.1.0); Charles Fairfax Murray, London (by 1905–10; sold to Imbert); [Alexandre Imbert, Rome, 1910; sold to Morgan]; J. Pierpont Morgan, London (1910–d. 1913); J. P. Morgan, London and Wall Hall, Aldenham, Hertfordshire (1913–d. 1943; inv., 1917; inv., 1937; his estate sale, Christie's, London, March 31, 1944, no. 138, for 3045 gns. to Koetser for Linsky); Mr. and Mrs. Jack Linsky, New York (1944–his d.1980); The Jack and Belle Linsky Foundation, New York (1980–82)
London. Thos. Agnew & Sons. "Eleventh Annual Exhibition on Behalf of the Artists' General Benevolent Institution," November–December 1905, no. 1 (as "La Marquise Perrin de Cypierre: daughter of the Duc de Vienne, wife of the Intendant of the King [Louis XV.] and Governor of Orleans").
Paris. Jeu de Paume. "Cent portraits de femmes," April 23–July 1, 1909, no. 83 (as "Portrait de femme," lent by Fairfax Murray).
THIS WORK MAY NOT BE LENT, BY TERMS OF ITS ACQUISITION BY THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART.
Pierre de Nolhac. J.-M. Nattier: Peintre de la cour de Louis XV. Paris, 1905, p. 130 [1910 ed., p. 217].
"Three Exhibitions: Messrs. Agnew's Gallery." Athenæum no. 4072 (November 11, 1905), p. 653, calls it "brilliant, but rather uninteresting".
G. Brière. "Catalogue critique des œuvres d'artistes français réunies à l'exposition de cent portraits de femmes du XVIIIe siècle." Bulletin de la Société de l'Histoire de l'Art Français (1909), pp. 135–36, wonder why the title "Portrait de Mme de Cypierre" was omitted from most editions of the catalogue.
Armand Dayot et al. Maitres du XVIIIe siècle: Cent portraits de femmes des écoles anglaise & française. Paris, , pp. VIII, no. 83, ill., cited as both "Mme de Cypierre" and "Portrait de Femme".
Katharine Baetjer inThe Metropolitan Museum of Art: Notable Acquisitions, 1983–1984. New York, 1984, p. 59, ill. (color).
Katharine Baetjer inThe Jack and Belle Linsky Collection in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1984, pp. 115–16, no. 43, ill. (color).
Xavier Salmon. Jean-Marc Nattier, 1685–1766. Exh. cat., Musée national des châteaux de Versailles et de Trianon. Paris, 1999, p. 308.
Xavier Salmon. "Le musée idéal." Dossier de l'art no. 62 (November 1999), p. 62, colorpl. 9.
Artist: Jean Marc Nattier (French, Paris 1685–1766 Paris)Date: ca. 1730Medium: Black chalk, heightened with white, on brown paper; verso: faint white chalk sketch of a male figureAccession: 1987.197.1On view in:Not on view