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Portrait of Mme de Vermenoux; whole-length, almost in profile to left, lying back against a tree at r, holding a letter on her lap with her right hand and supporting herself with her left arm, wearing a corsage and bracelets, water in the foreground, part of a building and trees behind
Red and black chalk, with watercolour; on two conjoined sheets
- Production date
Height: 315 millimetres
Width: 208 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- The elegant lady in this drawing is Madame de Vermenoux, born Anne Germaine Larivée de Vermenoux (1739-1783). Neil Jeffares has kindly supplied details of her biography: she was the daughter of Jacques-Abraham Larrivée, a master draper from Sedan in the Ardennes, and his wife Élisabeth La Bauche. She married Paul-Louis Girardot de Vermenoux (1730-1758) in 1756. After her husband's death she travelled for her health, settling in Geneva from 1758 until 1764.
During her stay in Switzerland she became a patron of Jean-Étienne Liotard, who executed three portraits of her. The first was in c.1760 (Sotheby's, London, 8 July 2004, lot 133; Roethlisberger & Loche, "Liotard", 366; N. Jeffares, 'Dictionary of Pastellists online', no. J.49.1593) and the second in c.1764 (Musée d'Art et Histoire, Geneva; R&L 426; Jeffares J. 49.1598). The third is dated 1764 and shows Madame de Vermenoux rendering thanks to Apollo for having been restored to health by her doctor Théodore Tronchin (Private collection; R&L 427; Jeffares, no. J.49.16).
Having been cured of her illness, Madame de Vermenoux returned to Paris and rejoined society. The portrait by Carmontelle probably dates from c.1765, shortly after her return from Switzerland. Like Carmontelle's portrait of the Marquise de la Croix (1904,0614.4), it shows the sitter in an elegant garden, where the arch of a bough over her head echoes the curve of her reclining figure. Both portraits may allude to Carmontelle's own garden designs for the duc d'Orléans at Saint-Cloud.
Further lit: Included in Austin Dobson's transcription of Lédans' list of his Carmontelle portraits.
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1990 April-Aug, BM, 'Treasures of P&D', (no cat.)
2002 April-June, Nagoya, Aichi Prefectural Mus of Art, 'French Drawings from the British Museum'
2002 July-Sep, Tokyo, NM of Western Art, 'French Drawings from the British Museum'
2016-17 Sept-Jan, BM, 'French Portrait Drawings' (no cat)
- Acquisition date
- Prints and Drawings
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