Versailles preempts a portrait of Mme du Barry by Francois-Hubert Drouais

François-Hubert Drouais (1727-1775)
Portrait of Mme du Barry as Flora
Huile sur toile - 71 x 58 cm
Versailles, Musée National du Château
Photo : Boisgirard & Associés

7/5/11 – Acquisition – Versailles, Musee National du Chateau – At the Boisgirard auction on 4 May at the Hotel Drouot, the chateau of Versailles preempted a Portrait of Mme du Barry as Flora (ill.) painted by Francois-Hubert Drouais, for the amount of 98.000 euros (without charges).

Along with Nattier, Drouais was one of the major portrait artists under Louis XV, and he specialized in this type of representation where the model is seen as a mythological figure. This painting, signed and dated 1769 [1] is the first portrait of Mme du Barry by the artist who was to later become one of her favorite painters, after being that of the Marquise de la Pompadour. At the Salon of 1769, he presented it with its matching pair, now lost, another likeness of Mme du Barry represented in a hunting costume. Another portrait of Mme du Barry as Flora, but with a different composition, resides at the Musee d’Agen ; there is an engravingof it mistakenly entitled “Mme la Marquise de Noailles”.

Didier Rykner, samedi 7 mai 2011


[1] The information concerning this portrait is taken from the entry written by Alexis Bordes for the auction catalogue.

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