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Between and Mortarboard

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Portrait of a Lady, possibly Madame Boilly (nee Adelaide Leduc)

Accession Number

Portrait of a Lady, possibly Madame Boilly (nee Adelaide Leduc)

Julien Boilly

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
black and red chalk, heightened with white chalk on brown paper

8 1/2 in. x 7 1/8 in. ( 21.6 cm x 18.1 cm )

Credit Line
Museum Purchase

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Fall 2013
Louis-Leopold Boilly
France, 1761–1845
Portrait of Lafayette (?)
Pastel on vellum
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Irving F. Burton, 1973/2.41
Julien-Leopold Boilly
France, 1796–1874
Portrait of a Lady, possibly Madame Boilly (née Adelaide Leduc)
Black and red chalk, heightened with white chalk, on brown paper
Museum purchase, 1972/2.375
Unlike the formal engraved portraits by Karl Dujardin (1622–1678) and Laurent Cars (1699–1771) on the other side of the case, which were disseminated in prints and thus available to a wide audience, these two drawn portraits of middle-class sitters are intimate in character. Both are remarkable for the rendering of textures and attention to detail, as well as for the treatment of light. The portrait of the man, perhaps the Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), a hero of both the American and the French revolutionary wars, was created by the remarkable portraitist and genre painter Louis-Leopold Boilly. Although the sitter’s blue coat and the background may have been retouched at some point, the face retains its integrity. The better-preserved portrait of the woman was completed by Boilly’s eldest son, the painter, lithographer, and engraver Julien-Leopold Boilly. The sitter is traditionally identified as the artist’s mother, Adelaide-Francoise-Julie Leduc, who would have been thirty-six years old at the time the portrait was completed.

Subject matter
This intimate, insightful portrait has been identified as the mother of the artist, Julien-Leopold Boilly, who would have been about 36 years old at the time the likeness was taken.

Physical Description
A bust-length portrait of a woman faces the viewer. Her hair is worn high on her head with curls framing her face and a bandeau high on her forehead. Her dress has a high starched collar and a scarf tied over the bodice. The drawing is muted in dark chalks with white highlighting on a brown paper.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Collection Area

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busts (figures)

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On display