An image of Madame de La Porte

Jean-Marc Nattier

(France 17 Mar 1685 – 07 Nov 1766)

Madame de La Porte

Other titles:
Portrait of Madame de La Porte, half length, wearing a white satin dress with gold embroidery and a blue cloak, with flowers in her hair, Portrait of a young woman
Location
15th–19th c European art
Further information

Recently established as the portrait of a fellow painter's wife, this image is the last word in high fashion. The sitter's ensemble, overstated for any but an occasion of high formality, capitalises on a rumpled sash winding its attention-seeking way around Madame de la Porte's petite torso. Her overly bright eyes and eggshell skin contribute to an effect of artificiality. Although Nattier was not capable of Boucher's moments of naturalism, this image marks a shift in that direction, and away from the far more formally baroque language of his state portraits. In keeping with the high value placed on harmonious social relations in this age of Enlightenment, the present sitter regards the spectator with a look of courtesy mingled with candour. She is confident, yet not condescending. Her trust in Nattier is clear and clearly reciprocated.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.

Year
1754
Media
Painting
Medium
oil on canvas
Dimensions
82.0 x 65.5 cm stretcher; 111.0 x 94.5 x 10.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated centre left "Nattier/ ...1754".
Credit
Gift of William Bowmore OBE 1992
Accession number
119.1992
Provenance
William Bowmore, 1976-04 Jun 1992, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of William Bowmore 1992. In the collection of Bowmore by 1976. This painting was offered for sale at Christie's, London 14 Dec 1990, lot 72, but did not sell.
Agnew's, London, 1976, London/England
Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955-1976?, New York/New York/United States of America, Purchased by Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955
Wildenstein & Co., 13 Mar 1946-1955, New York/New York/United States of America, Purchased by Wildenstein, London from Frank Partridge, 13 March 1946. Sold to Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955
Frank Partridge, 22 Feb 1946-13 Mar 1946, London/England, [dealer] Purchased by Frank Partridge from Morton Lee, 22 February 1946.
Morton Lee, pre 22 Feb 1946, England, [dealer] Eminent dealer in French art
Lady Louis Mountbatten, post 1932, London/England, by descent, Edwina Mountbatten granddaughter of Ernest Cassel
Wilhelmina Cassel, 21 Sep 1921-1932?, England, by descent, sister of Sir Cassel. Wilhelmina Cassel was bequeathed all of Sir Cassel's furniture, glass, pictures, fixtures and fittings and several properties for use during her life time, these all passed to Edwina Mountbatten.
Sir Ernest Cassel, 10 Sep 1908-21 Sep 1921, London/England, Purchased by Sir Cassel from Duveen Brothers, Paris 10 September 1908
Duveen Brothers (London, New York, Paris), Aug 1907-10 Sep 1908, Paris/France, [dealer] Kann Collection stock no. 152
Kann Estate, 1905-Aug 1907, Paris/France, Collection inherited by Kann's two sons and sold 'en bloc' in August 1907 to Duveen Brothers.
Rodolphe Kann, circa 1900-1905, Paris/France, In the collection of Kann by 1900, see 'Gemaeldesammlung des Herrn Rudolf Kann in Paris' by W Bode, 1900. Rodolphe Kann began collecting in 1880, after his death in 1905 his two sons inherited his collection and sold it 'en bloc' in August 1907 to Duveen Brothers.