Portrait of Marie Leczinska (Leszczynska), Queen of France (1703-1768)

Jean-Marc Nattier1753/1753

The Frick Pittsburgh

The Frick Pittsburgh
Pittsburgh, United States

Marie Leczinska was the daughter of King Stanislas of Poland and wife of Louis XV of France. In 1748 Nattier, who was the portraitist of the Royal Family, had painted the Queen's full length portrait. He was then requested by the Queen to do another one in 1753. The Queen's wish was to be shown in ordinary costume. Nattier represents her in bust with charming simplicity: dressed informally, the sitter's luminous skin is accented by a black lace scarf looped under her chin. The front of her dress is filled with a ladder of red ribbon knots; the last knot at the verge of the neckline is called the perfect consent.

Nattier made his reputation and glory with his allegorical portraits. However, he also admirably painted more naturalistic portraits whose simplicity represents his search for the verity of the subject. Among these is the Marie Leczinska's portrait. It is more truthful and intimate than most royal portraits. It was presented at the Salon in 1753 and met with the approval of the critics. What is striking with Nattier is less the importance of the royal sitter than a huge sensitivity to the woman he represents. He was one portraitist who was able to capture the charm of women and their importance in a society.


  • Title: Portrait of Marie Leczinska (Leszczynska), Queen of France (1703-1768)
  • Creator: Jean-Marc Nattier
  • Creator Lifespan: 1685/1766
  • Creator Nationality: French
  • Creator Gender: Male
  • Creator Death Place: Paris, Île-de-France, France
  • Creator Birth Place: Paris, Île-de-France, France
  • Date: 1753/1753
  • Location Created: Paris, Île-de-France, France
  • Physical Dimensions: w17 x h21 in.
  • Type: Painting
  • Medium: Oil on canvas

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