Portrait of the Comte de Vaudreuil (Primary Title)

Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-LeBrun, French, 1755 - 1842 (Artist)

1784
French
oil on canvas
Unframed: 52 × 38 7/8 in. (132.08 × 98.74 cm)
Framed: 64 × 50 1/2 in. (162.56 × 128.27 cm)
49.11.21
Vigée-Lebrun, daughter of a Paris pastelist, was a successful portrait painter from the age of fifteen. In 1779 she was called to court to paint Queen Marie-Antoinette’s portrait; she quickly became the queen’s favorite artist. Like the Comte de Vaudreuil, Vigée-Lebrun fled France at the beginning of the revolution, but was later invited to return, which she did briefly in 1802 and permanently in 1810. The Comte de Vaudreuil was a wealthy plantation owner who lived so grandly that he was cited as one of the causes of the French Revolution. A noted art collector, he once owned VMFA’s Finding of the Laocoön by Hubert Robert.
inscribed, lower left: "COMTE DE VAUDREUIL / Gd. FAUCONNIER DE FRANCE / CHEVALIER DES ORDRES DU ROI / LIEUTt. / GÉNÉRAL ET PAIR DE FRANCE / NÉ 1740, MORT 1817"
Gift of Mrs. A. D. Williams
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Galeries nationals du Grand Palais, Paris, France, September 21, 2015 - January 11, 2016; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, February 9 - May 15, 2016; National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, June 10 - September 12, 2016
Vaudreuil Collection; bequeathed to the Clermont-Tonnere family; Comtesse Blanche de Clement-Tonnerre; Her Sale (Hôtel Drouot, Paris, December 10-13, 1900, Lot 1); possibly purchased by “Gardner”. [1] By 1948 (Newhouse Galleries, New York); purchased by Adolph D. and Wilkins C. Williams, Richmond, Virginia; [2] Gift
to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Richmond in March of 1949. [3]

[1] This information is found in French Painting 1774-1830, the Age of Revolution (Detroit: distributed by Wayne State University Press, 1975), pp. 666-667. This was an exhibition which traveled to: Grand Palais, Paris, Detroit Institute of Arts and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In this catalogue, it states that the painting was bought for 11,200 francs by Gardner at the 1900 Hôtel Drouot sale. More research is needed to confirm who exactly bought the painting and where it was from 1900 until 1948. See also Masters in art: Volume 6. : a series of illustrated monographs (Boston : Bates & Guild Co., 1905), Plate 3, p. 30. In this book, the painting is described as being “in a private collection in Paris.”

[2] Letter from Clyde Newhouse dated January 22, 1965 listing the Williams’ date of purchase of the painting as October 29, 1948. Copy in curatorial file, VMFA.

[3] Acquisition date in Registration and Curatorial files, VMFA.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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