Portrait of a Woman, Said to be Madame Charles Simon Favart (Marie Justine Benoîte Duronceray, 1727–1772)

Artist: François Hubert Drouais (French, Paris 1727–1775 Paris)

Date: 1757

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 31 1/2 x 25 1/2 in. (80 x 64.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Mr. and Mrs. Isaac D. Fletcher Collection, Bequest of Isaac D. Fletcher, 1917

Accession Number: 17.120.210


In 1745 Mademoiselle Duronceray, a singer, dancer, and comedienne, married Charles Simon Favart (1710–1792) , the father of French comic opera. Among her best known roles was that of the heroine in The Loves of Bastien and Bastienne, 1753, in which she inspired a revolution in theatrical costume by wearing authentic peasant dress. Drouais's elegant secular portrait recalls traditional representations of Saint Cecilia, patron saint of music.