Jean Dunand (French (born Switzerland), Lancy 1877–1942 Paris)
Lacquered wood, eggshell
23 3/4 x 35 1/8 x 5/8 in. (60.3 x 89.2 x 1.59 cm)
Bequest of Marquise Raoul de Saint Cyr, 1988
Not on view
Attempting to expand the market for natural lacquer products, Dunand experimented with a variety of unorthodox uses for the material, including portraiture, jewelry, and textiles. The sitter for this commissioned portrait, Juliette Schinasi, belonged to a New York family whose fortune came from the production of Turkish cigarettes, and, upon her marriage, she became Marquise Raoul de Saint Cyr. Here, she appears enshrined like a Byzantine deity, surrounded by both geometric and floral patterns rendered in luxurious materials, including white gold. Disengaged from the viewer’s gaze, Schinasi appears ensconced in her own realm of opulence and fashion.
Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings
Inscription: Signed (lower right): JEAN DUNAND
the sitter, Marquise Raoul de Saint Cyr, New York (until d. 1988; her bequest to MMA)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Jean Dunand: Master of Art Deco," May 23–October 28, 1998, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Modern Design," March 30–December 3, 2006, no catalogue.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Masterpieces of French Art Deco," August 4, 2009–January 23, 2011, no catalogue.
Félix Marcilhac. Jean Dunand: His Life and Works. New York, 1991, p. 220, no. 165.
Mechthild Baumeister. "Jean Dunand—A Master of Art Déco Lacquer." Ostasiatische und europäische Lacktechniken. East Asian and European Lacquer Techniques. Ed. Michael Kühlenthal. Munich, 2000, p. 212, fig. 10.
Lily Koppel. "An Opulent Home, a Rich Past: A Riverside Mansion That Tobacco Built." New York Times (April 3, 2007), p. B4.
Jared Goss. French Art Deco. New York, 2014, pp. 78–81, 255, no. 19c, ill. (color, overall and detail).