Martine-Gabrielle-Yoland de Polastron, The duchesse de Polignac (1745-1793)

On display in:

South Corridor (West wing)

Order image © All images subject to copyright

Artist or maker

Vigée-LeBrun, Elisabeth Louise (b.1755, d.1842)

Date

1783

Place of production

  • France

Medium

  • oil on canvas

Type of object

  • paintings

Accession number

2154

Oil three-quarter length portrait of Yolande Duchesse de Polignac, signed and dated 1783. Her mouth is open as if singing. She wears a white muslin dress with a pink sash, a pearl necklace and a large blue feathered hat with a gauze scarf. She holds a sheet of music in her left hand and touches the keys of a piano with her right. More sheet music stands on the piano.

Commentary

Commentaries

  • Polignac considered to be not beautiful or intelligent, artless and unknowing of danger (Levey)
Physical description

Dimensions (mm) / weight (mg)

984 x 712
965 x 694 - sight

Signature & date

signed and dated, lower left (above hand): Mde Le Brun 1783

History

Provenance

  • Presented by Yolande-Martine-Gabrielle Duchesse de Polignac (b.1749, d.1793) to Louis-Philippe de Rigaud Marquis de Vaudreuil (b.1724, d.1802); by descent to his granddaughter the Comtesse de Clermont-Tonnerre before 1883; bought from the Comtesse de Clermont-Tonnerre by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild (b.1839, d.1898) after 1883; inherited by his sister Alice de Rothschild (b.1847, d.1922); inherited by her great-nephew James de Rothschild (b.1878, d.1957); bequeathed to Waddesdon The Rothschild Collection (The National Trust) in 1957.

Exhibition history

  • Exposition des portraits du 18ème siècle, 1883, Paris

Collection

  • Waddesdon (National Trust)
  • Bequest of James de Rothschild, 1957
Bibliography

Bibliography

  • Elisabeth Louise Vigée-LeBrun; Souvenirs de Mme Vigée Le Brun; 2 vols; Paris; Bibliothèque Charpentier; 1867; vol. 2, pp. 361, 364-5; lists several versions of the portrait, but not under 1783 date.
  • Gustave-Armand-Henri, Comte de Reiset; Modes et usages au temps de Marie-Antoinette par le comte de Reiset,.... Livre-journal de madame Éloffe,...; Paris; Firmin-Didot et Cie; 1885; vol. 2, p. 55; gives details of painting exhibited in 1883 when in collection of Comte de Clermont-Tonnerre.
  • William H. Helm; Vigée-Lebrun, 1755-1842: her life, works, and friendships ... With a catalogue raisonné of the artist's pictures; London; Hutchinson & Co.; 1916; p. 215.
  • Anita Brookner, French Pictures at Waddesdon, The Burlington Magazine, 101, 1959, 271-273; p. 272.
  • Michael Levey, French and Italian Paintings at Waddesdon, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 54, August 1959, 57-66; p. 61, fig. 6.
  • Michael Levey; Rococo to Revolution; London; Thames & Hudson; 1966; pp. 153-154, ill.
  • Ellis Waterhouse, Anthony Blunt; Paintings: The James A. de Rothschild Collection at Waddesdon Manor; Fribourg; Office du Livre, The National Trust; 1967; p. 284, no. 134.
  • Joseph Baillio; Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, 1755-1842; Fort Worth; Kimbell Art Museum; 1982; p. 53, fig. 9.
  • John Hardman; Louis XVI; London; Yale University Press; 1993; pp. 152-53, fig. 3.
  • Terry Castle; The Apparitional Lesbian: female homosexuality and modern culture; New York; Columbia University Press; 1993; p. 129, ill.
  • Mary D Sheriff; The Exceptional Woman: Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun and the Cultural Politics of Art; Chicago; University of Chicago Press; 1996; pp. 213-14, fig. 37.
  • Angelica Goodden; The Sweetness of Life: A Biography of Elisabeth Louise Vigee Le Brun; London; Andre Deutsch Ltd.; 1997; pp. 88-89, ill.
  • Christian Baulez, fall-front desk, La Revue du Louvre et des musées de France, 3, June 1998, 13-14; p. 14, fig. 2.
  • Françoise Pitt-Rivers; Madame Vigée Le Brun; Paris; Éditions Gallimard; 2001; fig. 15.
  • Jeanne Faton, Waddesdon Manor: joyau des collections anglaises, L'Estampille. L' Objet d'Art, September 2002; p. 95.
  • Colin B. Bailey; Patriotic Taste: Collecting Modern Art in Pre-Revolutionary Paris; New Haven; Yale University Press; 2002; p. 172.
  • Jill Berk Jiminez; Picturing French Style: Three Hundred Years of Art and Fashion; Mobile Museum of Art, Alabama, 6 September 2002 - 5 January 2003; Norton Museum of Art, West Palm Beach, Florida 4 February - 27 April 2003; Alabama; Mobile Museum of Art; 2002; p. 198.
  • Dena Goodman; Marie-Antoinette: Writings on the Body of a Queen; New York, London; Routledge Press; 2003; p. 138, ill.
  • Simon Schama; Citizens: A Chronicle of the French Revolution; 2 vols; London; The Folio Society (London); 2004; pp. 217, 219, fig. 59.
  • Joseph Kerman, Gary Tomlinson; Listen (5th brief ed.); Boston; Bedford/ St. Martin's; 2004; fig. 6; Illustrating the desirable asset of musical accomplishment for women of the 18th Century.
  • Gita May; Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun: The Odyssey of an Artist in an Age of Revolution; New Haven; Yale University Press; 2005; pp. 40, 117, pl. 10.
  • Thomas Vernet; 'Avec un très profond respect, je suis votre très humble et très obéissant serviteur', Grétry et ses dédicataires. 1767-1789; Jean Duron, Regards sur la musique: Grétry en société, Belgium, Mardaga, 2009; 61-100; p. 89, ill.
  • Christian Baulez, Souvenirs of an embassy: the comte d'Adhemar in London, 1783-87, The Burlington Magazine, 151, June 2009, 372-381; p. 37, fig. 24.
  • Akiya Takahashi; Créer au féminin: Femmes artistes du siècle de Madame Vigée Le Brun; Mitsubishi Ichigokan, Tokyo, 1 March - 8 May 2011; Tokyo; Mitsubishi Ichigokan Museum; 2011; pp. 152, 248; Xavier Salmon establishes the chronology for the various versions.
  • Kimberly Chrisman Campbell; Fashion Victims: Dress at the Court of Louis XVI; New Haven; Yale University Press; 2015; pp. 182-183, fig. 135.
Other details

Subject person

  • Yolande de Polastron, Duchesse de Polignac, Sitter