The Wallace Collection

The Wallace Collection, A Family Collection, A National Museum, An International Treasure House
Adélaïde-Victorine Hall, the painter's daughter
  • Peter Adolf Hall (1739 - 1793)
  • Adélaïde-Victorine Hall, the painter's daughter
  • France
  • 1785 or before
    1700 - 1799
  • Miniature
  • Painted on ivory
  • Sight size: 10.7 x 9.1 cm
    Frame size: 14.6 x 13 cm
  • Signature: 'hall'
    Label: 'No 138 / Exposition du / Louyvre 1785 / tête d'Etude par / Hall agréé'
  • M189
  • Boudoir Cabinet
Images & Media
Further Reading
  • This miniature shows the artist’s eldest child, Adélaïde-Victorine. A label on the back of the frame indicates it was exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1785 (no. 139). The submissions to the Salon were important for artists and their future success. Very often they tried to exhibit a careful selection of different works, demonstrating the entire spectrum of their abilities. The exhibition catalogue of 1785 described no. 139 as several portraits and study heads under the same number. Only the label on the back confirms that this miniature formed part of the group.

    The work could not have been intended as a portrait in the strictest sense of the word. Adélaïde-Victorine was born in 1772. Assuming that the miniature was painted shortly before the Salon, she can only have been thirteen at the time. The revealed breast and the openly erotic character of the depiction seem particularly inappropriate, but it is worth noting that the miniature might have been shown without any reference to the identity of the sitter. Hall refers in this image to a well-known type of painting by his extremely successful contemporary, Jean-Baptiste Greuze (1725-1805), who was widely known for eroticized half-length paintings of anonymous girls and young women. Hall’s miniature is directly based on two of Greuze’s works, the ‘Girl with a Gauze Scarf’ in the Wallace Collection and ‘La Crûche cassée’ in the Louvre. Hall would have seen this work as a miniature version of Greuze’s erotic genre paintings rather than as a portrait.