Jean-Etienne Liotard (Geneva 1702-1789)
Jean-Etienne Liotard (Geneva 1702-1789)

Portrait of Madame Saint Pol, half-length, in a light blue gown trimmed with blue silk bows and white lace

Jean-Etienne Liotard (Geneva 1702-1789)
Portrait of Madame Saint Pol, half-length, in a light blue gown trimmed with blue silk bows and white lace
signed and dated 'Par Liotard 1757'
pastel on vellum
21½ x 17 1/8 in. (54.5 x 43.5 cm.)
A.A. des Tombe, The Hague, by 1897
His nephew, J.W. des Tombe
His son, J.W. des Tombe
A.L. des Tombe and J.H. des Tombe, his children, and by descent.
E. Humbert, A. Revilliod and J. Tilanus, La Vie et les Oeuvres de Jean-Etienne Liotard, Amsterdam, 1897, no. 66.
F. Fosca, Liotard, Paris, 1928, p. 157.
L. Gielly, L'école genevoise de peinture, Geneva, 1935, p. 204.
N. Trivas, untitled monograph and catalogue of Liotard's work, manuscript dated 1938 in the Musée d'art et d'histoire, Geneva, no. 203.
R. Loche and M. Roethlisberger, L'opera completa di Liotard, Milan, 1978, no. 219.
M. Roethlisberger and R. Loche, Liotard: Catalogue, sources et correspondance, Doornspijk, 2008, vol. I, no. 340, vol. II, fig. 484. N. Jeffares, 'Review: Liotard. By Marcel Roethlisberger and Renée Loche', The Burlington Magazine, vol. CLI, May 2009, p. 323.
N. Jeffares, Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800, online edition.
Utrecht, Centraal Museum, Liotard in Nederland, 1985, catalogue edited by F. Grijzenhout, no. 79.

Brought to you by

Harriet West
Harriet West

Check the condition report or get in touch for additional information about this

If you wish to view the condition report of this lot, please sign in to your account.

Sign in
View condition report

Lot Essay

The sitter was first identified as 'dame de la famille Saint Pol' in 1897 and there is a tradition that she is Madame d'Usson de Bonnac (1726-1798), the widow of Cornelis Munter. Born Margaretha Cornelia van de Poll, this wealthy lady had been pursued by Pierre-Chrysostome, chevalier de Bonnac and brother to the attaché of the French ambassador to The Hague. This was a match which provoked considerable gossip in France (for an account of the affair, see N. Jeffares, 'The Marquis de Bonnac: A Suggested Identification of a Portrait by Louis Vigée', Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies, vol. 25, no. 1, March 2002, pp. 45-74).

However, a confirmed portrait of Madame d'Usson de Bonnac by Jean Fournier survives, dated 1750 (Grijzenhout, op. cit., no. 28). Both Grijzenhout and Jeffares (2009, op. cit.) have pointed out that the elegant young sitter in the present portrait cannot be the same lady as that portrayed in Fournier's earlier work. The lady shown here may be another member of the van de Poll family, portrayed shortly after Liotard arrived in France in 1756.

The portrait has had a distinguished provenance and for many years formed part of the collection of the des Tombe family. It came into the possession of A.A. des Tombe (1818-1902) in 1897 and became part of an important collection which was open to the public and which included Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring (now in the Mauritshuis, The Hague). It passed to his nephew, J.W. des Tombe (1861-1926) and hung in his house on the Plompetorengracht in Utrecht (Fig. 1), since when it has descended in the family.

Related Articles

View all
Collecting guide: Old Master d auction at Christies
‘Warhol dances a wonderful lin auction at Christies
Printemps Asiatique: highlight auction at Christies

More from Old Master & Early British Drawings and Watercolours

View All
View All