Madame Jean-Baptiste Nicolet (Anne Antoinette Desmoulins, 1743–1817)

Jean-Baptiste Greuze French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 631

The hazy, velvety effect of Greuze’s brushwork is characteristic of his portraits during the 1780s. This lack of precision in the face allows the viewer to project a sense of animation and vitality often lacking in features depicted with harder lines. Anne Antoinette Desmoulins married the actor and theatrical manager Jean-Baptiste Nicolet in 1766. A member of his troupe from an early age, she retired in 1780 to manage his theater and is shown here as a respectable businesswoman with books by the playwright Molière and philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau on her desk.

Madame Jean-Baptiste Nicolet (Anne Antoinette Desmoulins, 1743–1817), Jean-Baptiste Greuze (French, Tournus 1725–1805 Paris), Oil on wood

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