Madame Bergeret de Frouville as Diana

Jean Marc Nattier French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 631

Diana, goddess of the hunt, was a model of female virtue and power, but she was also often eroticized, surrounded by her nymphs bathing in the forest. Nattier used her disguise when portraying many of his female sitters, layering contemporary hairstyles and makeup with studio props, including the bow, quiver, and panther skin. This portrait is among the most accomplished examples of this means of elevating a work out of the everyday. Its artifice and self-conscious performativity are characteristic of a society steeped in theater and masquerade. Bergeret de Frouville’s husband was an important patron of other leading French painters, including François Boucher and Hubert Robert.

Madame Bergeret de Frouville as Diana, Jean Marc Nattier (French, Paris 1685–1766 Paris), Oil on canvas

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