A Miniature by Adélaïde Labille-Guiard Acquired by Stockholm

Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (1749-1803)
Madame Lefranc Painting a Portrait of her Husband, 1779
Gouache Watercolor on Ivory - D. 6.6 cm
Stockholm, Nationalmuseum
Photo : Nationalmuseum

6/2/13 - Acquisition - Stockholm, Nationalmuseum - The Swedish museum acquired a gouache and watercolor miniature on ivory representing Madame Lefranc Painting a Portrait of her Husband (ill.), from Christie’s London on 27 November 2012.

A student of the miniaturist François-Elie Vincent, of the pastel artist Maurice Quentin de la Tour and of the painter François-André Vincent, Adélaïde Labille-Guiard practiced these three techniques, but most rarely that of miniatures for which there are few known examples. The one acquired by Stockholm (the first work by this artist to join the collections) represents one of her friends, an amateur painter. If not for the fact that this work is documented and the likeness of Adelaïde Labille-Guiard familiar through other sources, we might be led to think that this miniature is a self-portrait as it presents all of the characteristics.
According to the excellent Dictionnaire des peintres en miniature by Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard [1], those by Labille-Guiard which are known range from 1774 to 1790, after which the artist progressively dedicated herself to oil painting. Her importance to the art of miniatures however is not limited to her own works as she also trained two other women who became specialists in this technique : Marie-Thérèse de Noireterre (1760-1819) and Marie-Gabrielle Capet (1761-1818) one of whose works was recently returned to the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Caen. Capet also produced frequent miniature reproductions of paintings done by Labille-Guiard.

Version française

Didier Rykner, jeudi 7 février 2013


[1] Nathalie Lemoine-Bouchard, Les Peintres en miniature 1650-1850, les Editions de l’Amateur, Paris, 2008, pp. 316-317.

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