Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord (1754–1838), Prince de Talleyrand

Pierre Paul Prud'hon French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 633

Talleyrand, a brilliant political figure who served under every French ruler from Louis XVI to Louis Philippe, commissioned this portrait from Prud’hon in 1817. The artist had already painted two full-length portraits of him for Napoleon, first in 1806 (Château de Valençay) and again in 1807 (Musée Carnavalet, Paris). The composition of the portrait at The Met was based on the 1807 painting, but replaced the earlier, sumptuous costume of Talleyrand’s earlier status as Napoleon’s Grand Chamberlain with the far more somber clothing seen here, suggestive of Talleyrand’s retreat to private life and renunciation of Napoleon’s imperial ambition.

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord (1754–1838), Prince de Talleyrand, Pierre Paul Prud'hon (French, Cluny 1758–1823 Paris), Oil on canvas

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