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.


  • Title: Madame de La Porte
  • Creator: Jean-Marc Nattier
  • Date Created: 1754
  • Physical Dimensions: 82.0 x 65.5 cm stretcher; 111.0 x 94.5 x 10.0 cm frame
  • Provenance: Rodolphe Kann, circa 1900-1905, Paris/France, In the collection of Kann by 1900, see 'Gemaeldesammlung des Herrn Rudolf Kann in Paris' by W Bode, 1900. Rodolphe Kann began collecting in 1880, after his death in 1905 his two sons inherited his collection and sold it 'en bloc' in August 1907 to Duveen Brothers. Kann Estate, 1905-Aug 1907, Paris/France, Collection inherited by Kann's two sons and sold 'en bloc' in August 1907 to Duveen Brothers. Duveen Brothers (London, New York, Paris), Aug 1907-10 Sep 1908, Paris/France, [dealer] Kann Collection stock no. 152 Sir Ernest Cassel, 10 Sep 1908-21 Sep 1921, London/England, Purchased by Sir Cassel from Duveen Brothers, Paris 10 September 1908 Wilhelmina Cassel, 21 Sep 1921-16 Sep 1925, England, by descent, sister of Sir Cassel. Wilhelmina Cassel was bequeathed all of Sir Cassel's furniture, glass, pictures, fixtures and fittings and several properties for use during her life time, these all passed to her niece Edwina Mountbatten. Lady Louis Mountbatten, post 16 Sep 1925, London/England, by descent, Edwina Mountbatten granddaughter of Ernest Cassel Morton Lee, pre 22 Feb 1946, England, [dealer] Eminent dealer in French art Frank Partridge, 22 Feb 1946-13 Mar 1946, London/England, [dealer] Purchased by Frank Partridge from Morton Lee, 22 February 1946. Wildenstein & Co., 13 Mar 1946-1955, New York/New York/United States of America, Purchased by Wildenstein, London from Frank Partridge, 13 March 1946. Sold to Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955 Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955-1976?, New York/New York/United States of America, Purchased by Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955 Agnew's, London, 1976, London/England William Bowmore, 1976-04 Jun 1992, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Gift of William Bowmore 1992. In the collection of Bowmore by 1976. This painting was offered for sale at Christie's, London 14 Dec 1990, lot 72, but did not sell.
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Gift of William Bowmore OBE 1992
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Signature & Date: Signed and dated centre left "Nattier/ ...1754".
  • Object Other Titles: Portrait of Madame de La Porte, half length, wearing a white satin dress with gold embroidery and a blue cloak, with flowers in her hair Portrait of a young woman
  • Artist Country: France

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