The Duchess of Chaulnes as a Gardener in an Allée

Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle1771

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

In this poignant portrait, Louis Carmontelle depicted Marie d'Albert de Luynes taking up the vogue for gardening that Queen Marie Antoinette had popularized among noble women. Gently raking in a verdant allée or garden path, Marie probably posed during a social event at the Parisian court of the duc d'Orléans. At the duke's parties, master of ceremonies Louis Carmontelle entertained guests by drawing on-the-spot portraits.

Marie's wistful expression may reflect her restricted opportunities for amusement. Married at fourteen, her husband rejected her before consummating the marriage. Condemned to lifelong virginity, Marie began dressing only in white.

Carmontelle first sketched using black chalk for the body and red chalk for the arms and face. Later on, he added watercolor, allowing much of the black chalk and blank white paper in her dress to show through.

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  • Title: The Duchess of Chaulnes as a Gardener in an Allée
  • Creator: Louis Carrogis de Carmontelle
  • Date: 1771
  • Physical Dimensions: 31.8 x 19.1 cm (12 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.)
  • External Link: Find out more about this object on the Museum website.
  • Medium: Watercolor and gouache over black and red chalk on off-white paper
  • Source Credit Line: The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles
  • Object Type: Drawing
  • Object Status: Permanent Collection
  • Number: 94.GC.41
  • Inscription: Secondary Inscription: Inscribed (recto) lower edge of mount, in brown ink, "Mme La Duchesse de Chaulmes, en jardinière. 1771."; inscribed (verso) on mount, in brown ink, "327." and in graphite, "B".
  • Display Location: Not currently on view
  • Department: Drawings
  • Culture: French
  • Classification: Drawings