Madame Perregaux
  • Date: 1789
  • Object Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on oak panel
  • Image size: 99.6 x 78.5 cm
  • Inv: P457
  • Location: Not on display
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Further Reading
  • Adélaïde de Praël (1758-94) married the banker Jean-François Perregaux in 1779. Madame Perregaux’s husband was both a notable art collector and banker to the Le Bruns, later also numbering the 3rd Marquess of Hertford among his clients.

    Madame Perregaux’s portrait is typical of the glamorous, flattering portrayals of female sitters on which Vigée Le Brun’s fame chiefly rests. It is one of the last portraits Vigée Le Brun painted before she emigrated in 1789, a year that was particularly productive for the painter. When the painter had already emigrated, her husband, the art dealer Le Brun, sent the portrait to the Salon of 1791. Her choice to paint the portrait on panel might reflect her wish to emulate Netherlandish works where this support was far more popular as Vigée Le Brun was a great admirer of Rubens's work in particular. The dress of the sitter, called 'Spanish' in 1791, similarly is a reference to the age of Rubens. Through costume and pose, the painter added interest and life to the portrait of a conventional sitter.