THE COLLECTION
Marie Leszczynska, Queen of France
  • Date: 1746–56
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Image size: 54.5 x 45.5 cm
  • Frame size: 68 x 57 x 6 cm
  • Inv: P437
  • Location: Oval Drawing Room
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Description
Provenance
Further Reading
  • Marie Leszczynska (1703-68), daughter of Stanislaus Leszczynski, Duke of Lorraine and former King of Poland, married King Louis XV of France in 1725 and bore him ten children. She became known for her homely, pious nature, which Nattier brilliantly conveyed in a portrait of 1748, today in the Châteaux de Versailles. The Wallace Collection's picture is a reduced eighteenth-century copy of this famous painting. The Queen had asked Nattier to portray her 'en habit de ville' (in a day dress), without the traditional regal accoutrements found in royal portraits. The resulting image, praised for its noble simplicity, heralded a new naturalism in French eighteenth-century portraiture. Nattier's portrait was the last and most iconic image of the Queen. It was engraved by Jacques-Nicolas Tardieu in 1755. Numerous painted copies were produced at the cabinet du roi in Versailles, which may be where the Wallace Collection's painting originated.

    The conservation of Marie Leszczynska, Queen of France was made possible in 2018 by the generous support of the John S Cohen Foundation