Comtesse de la Châtre (Marie Charlotte Louise Perrette Aglaé Bontemps, 1762–1848)

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun French

On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 632

Emulating the taste of the court both in fashion and choice of artist was a key factor in the production of portraits. Queen Marie Antoinette, who regularly sat for Vigée Le Brun, popularized the kind of simple, white muslin dress so beautifully painted in this portrait of the comtesse de la Châtre, daughter of a high-ranking member of Louis XV’s immediate court. Vigée Le Brun combined it with an innovative pose that was probably inspired by the casual, calculated elegance of British portraits, notably those of Emma Hamilton by George Romney. Like many of Vigée Le Brun’s sitters and the artist herself, the comtesse de la Châtre was a royalist close to the crown who fled France during the French Revolution.

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Comtesse de la Châtre (Marie Charlotte Louise Perrette Aglaé Bontemps, 1762–1848), Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (French, Paris 1755–1842 Paris), Oil on canvas

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