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Madame Marguerite Bergeret was the wife and sister of two of the eighteenth century's most ardent art patrons. Her brother, the Abbé Jean Claude de Saint-Non traveled to Italy with Hubert Robert and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Her husband, Jacques Onésime Bergeret, a wealthy financier, became a celebrated connoisseur and collector.

In the 1740s Boucher was establishing himself as a mature painter in Parisian art circles. In this portrait he defines the chic of that decade: Madame Bergeret is placed in a garden setting, dressed in a creamy silk gown, tight in the bodice with puffed sleeves highlighted with blue ribbons. Her face glows with youth and beauty depicted in translucent whites. The most important motif, and the charm of the composition, is the profusion of roses -- emerging from a bronze vase, decorating her sleeves and hair, and arranged across the bench and on the foreground plane. Sacred to Venus, the rose was a symbol well suited for a portrait of Bergeret's beloved wife.

Boucher's vast talents were quickly noticed by the King's new mistress Madame de Pompadour. Boucher became her favorite painter, and he produced several portraits of her, the most celebrated modeled on his earlier depiction of Madame Bergeret.

Details

  • Title: Madame Bergeret
  • Date Created: possibly 1766
  • Physical Dimensions: w105.4 x h143.5 cm (overall)
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Samuel H. Kress Collection
  • External Link: National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Theme: portrait, female
  • School: French
  • Provenance: Pierre Jacques Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt [1715-1785], husband of the sitter, who was his first wife, Paris; by inheritance to their elder son, Pierre Jacques Bergeret de Grancourt [1742-1807], Cassan; by inheritance to his stepson (the son of his wife, Catherine Julie Xavier Poisson de la Chabeaussière, by her first marriage), Ange Philibert de la Girennerie, Cassan; by inheritance to his aunt (a sister of his mother), Barbe Françoise Victoire Poisson de la Chabeaussière Cotillon de Torcy; by inheritance to her daughter, Françoise Julie Cotillon de Torcy Le Bos de Sainte Croix; by inheritance to her daughter, Angélique Le Bos de Sainte Croix; by inheritance to her daughter, Angélique Le Bos de Sainte Croix, comtesse Fontaine de Resbecq; by inheritance to the Resbecq family; sold by 1920 to (Wildenstein & Co., Paris, New York, and London); sold 1942 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[1] gift 1946 to NGA. [1] For further clarification, see the discussion by Alastair Laing in François Boucher (1703-1770), exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Detroit Institute of Arts; Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris; New York, 1986: 229-233.
  • Artist: François Boucher

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