The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
The marquise de Belestat
  • Jean-Marc Nattier (1685 - 1766)
  • The marquise de Belestat
  • France
  • 1755
  • Painting
  • Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 81 x 64 cm
    Frame size: 112 x 96.5 x 12 cm
  • Signature: 'Nattier./p.x 1755.'
  • P461
  • Dining Room
Further Reading
  • The sitter was identified by a label, as Marie-Charlotte de Châteaurenaud, who married the marquis de Belestat of Toulouse (1725-1807) in 1752. She succeeded her mother as a lady-in-waiting to the daughters of Louis XV and attended the court at Versailles in 1754 and 1755. In 1754 she was involved in a dispute at cards with the comte de Lorge, an incident which Voltaire commemorated in verse. Her commission to Nattier is probably linked to her court career at the time.
    The portrait is of a type commonly used by the artist to depict young female sitters: she is dressed in the formal robe à la française with blue silk drapery, three-quarter length, without hands, in front of a neutral background. In contrast to other contemporary portraitists Nattier’s aim was not to represent the psychology of his sitters but to provide a fashionable and beautiful image according to society ideals.