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Artist: François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard, French, 1770–1837
Portrait of Alexandrine Émilie Brongniart
Oil on canvas
unframed: 49.5 x 38.1 cm (19 1/2 x 15 in.), framed: 71.1 x 61 cm (28 x 24 in.)
Robert Lehman Foundation Acquisition Fund for Early European and Modern and Contemporary Art; the Leonard C. Hanna, Jr., Class of 1913, Fund; and the Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903, Fund
This is the first painting publicly exhibited by François Gérard, who became one of the foremost portraitists of the period following the French Revolution. He chose as his model the fourteen-year-old Émilie Brongniart—daughter of his most important patron—to whom he was giving drawing lessons. Gérard’s skill is particularly evident in the rendering of Émilie’s features and hair, as well as in the differentiation between the textures of her attire, composed of a gauzy white chemise underneath a heavier pale dress.
late 18th century
Kathryn Calley Galitz, “François Gérard: Portraiture, Scandal, and the Art of Power in Napoleonic France,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (2013): 16, fig. 11.
Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of such records is ongoing.