European Art
Artist: Baron François-Pascal-Simon Gérard, French, 1770–1837

Portrait of Alexandrine Émilie Brongniart


Oil on canvas

unframed: 49.5 × 38.1 cm (19 1/2 × 15 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.
On view
18th century

Collecton of Alexandrine Émilie Brongniart (1795–1847); by descent to her son, Baron Jérôme-Frédéric Pichon (1812-1896); Baron Pichon estate sale to André Brongniart (1897); Collection of André Brongniart (1897–1940); Sotheby’s New York (January 28, 2010).


Kathryn Calley Galitz, “François Gérard: Portraiture, Scandal, and the Art of Power in Napoleonic France,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 71 (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.