Horace Vernet’s evocative portrait of Marie-Françoise-Célestine-Gabrielle de Vintimille du Luc, the widow comtesse Greffulhe, is a striking example of early Romantic portraiture. Drawing inspiration from innovations in English portraiture the artist would have seen firsthand during a trip to England in 1822, Vernet’s portrait uses the landscape to communicate the emotional meaning of the work. Painted in the same year that the widowed comtesse would marry général comte Philippe-Paul de Ségur, Vernet depicts his sitter on a windswept shore, staring into the middle distance with a stoic strength. Her simple white dress seems to allude to her impending marriage, and the work was possibly commissioned by the comte de Ségur in advance of their union. Everett Fahy has suggested that the dark and unhospitable landscape is meant to reflect Célestine’s widowhood, and that her placement on the shore indicates that her rescue from this unhappy state is imminent. Certainly the parting of the storm clouds at upper left, which allows a hint of sunlight to illuminate the foremost plane of the composition, further underscores this reading.