Madame Perregaux

Accession Number

Madame Perregaux

Horace Vernet

Artist Nationality
French (culture or style)

Object Creation Date
circa 1816

Medium & Support
lithograph on wove paper

10 5/8 in x 7 11/16 in (26.99 cm x 19.53 cm);10 5/8 in x 7 11/16 in (26.99 cm x 19.53 cm)

Credit Line
Gift of Professor Walter M. and Nesta R. Spink

Label copy
Horace Vernet
France, 1789–1863
Madame Perregeaux
Lithograph on wove paper
Gift of Professor Walter M. and Nesta R. Spink, 2013/2.555

Subject matter
According to a later account, Horace Vernet made a lithographic portrait of Madame Perregaux, the wife of a banker, during a dinner party. "One day after dinner a lithographic stone and chalk were produced by Madame Perregaux, and, for the amusement of the company, Vernet drew her portrait, prim, stiff, choked with voluminous ruffles, her hair a mass of heavy puffs upon the top of her head, ringlets falling on either side of her forehead...the company were charmed with it."

Although this account probably describes a bust-length portrait of Madame Perregaux made around the same time, the somewhat haughty characterization of the hostess could certainly describe this picture. Madame Perregaux is depicted full length, with her arms crossed at the waist and her eyes rolled upward in what seems to be disdain. Vernet's light touch with the lithographic crayon creates a parallel between the ruffles that adorn Madame Perregaux's shoulders and neckline, and the puffs of hair that escape from her updo. The sketchy treatment of the subject is informal, but the composition adheres to grand portrait formats by including the hint of a landscape in the background.

Physical Description
A full length portrait of a woman in a long ruffled dress with her hands crossed at her waist.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type
planographic print

Collection Area

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fashion (concept)
full-length figures
social status

& Author Notes

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