Recently established as the portrait of a fellow painter's wife, this image is the last word in high fashion. The sitter's ensemble, overstated for any but an occasion of high formality, capitalises on a rumpled sash winding its attention-seeking way around Madame de la Porte's petite torso. Her overly bright eyes and eggshell skin contribute to an effect of artificiality. Although Nattier was not capable of Boucher's moments of naturalism, this image marks a shift in that direction, and away from the far more formally baroque language of his state portraits. In keeping with the high value placed on harmonious social relations in this age of Enlightenment, the present sitter regards the spectator with a look of courtesy mingled with candour. She is confident, yet not condescending. Her trust in Nattier is clear and clearly reciprocated.
AGNSW Handbook, 1999.