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"Viewed from the front, the face displays a modest reserve, in accord with the lady’s graceful and almost childlike attitude (…). In profile, there is something intriguing or even provocative in the portrait’s various nuances, the mischievous nose with slightly raised nostrils, the half-smile floating on the lips, accentuated by the transparent scarf, and the bare throat and breast.”

This is how Édouard Herriot described the ambiguous but thoroughly real charm of Joseph Chinard’s work, which is one of the best portraits of Juliette Récamier at her most beautiful, painted a few years before Baron Gérard’s equally famous picture (1805) in the Carnavalet Museum in Paris. It was probably during one of his visits to Paris in 1801 or 1802, when he was staying with the Récamiers, that Chinard produced the clay model on which he based the Lyon museum’s marble version, which he later sculpted in Carrara in 1805 or 1806.

Details

  • Title: Juliette Récamier (left profile)
  • Creator: Joseph Chinard
  • Physical Location: Lyon, France
  • Physical Dimensions: H. 80 ; L. 42 ; P. 30 cm
  • Provenance: Acquis en 1909
  • Medium: Marble

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