Madame Henri François Riesener (Félicité Longrois, 1786–1847)

Eugène Delacroix French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 801

Delacroix rarely portrayed anyone other than his closest family and friends. His affection for Madame Riesener, an aunt by marriage, is expressed through the frank tenderness of this portrait. She was once known for her beauty: some thirty years before the date of this portrait she served as a lady-in-waiting to empress Josephine, and having caught Napoleon’s eye, engaged in a brief liaison with him. After she died, Delacroix wrote to George Sand, "each of the beings necessary to our existence who disappears, takes away with him a whole world of feelings that no other relationship can revive."

Madame Henri François Riesener (Félicité Longrois, 1786–1847), Eugène Delacroix (French, Charenton-Saint-Maurice 1798–1863 Paris), Oil on canvas

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