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Princess Palatine (Rigaud)


Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659-1743) was the French portrait painter of the Court and of Kings in the Grand Siècle, thus described by Madame La Palatine "There is a painter here, Rigo, who stutters so horribly it takes a quarter of an hour for every word. He sings in perfection and while singing he does not stutter in the least ”.

The portrait of Madame, known as La Palatine (1652-1722)

Having promised her portrait to M. Foucault, Councilor of State, Madame did herself violence to pose for so long in 1713, it was torture. In addition, she has to dress up and wear heavy court clothes, which she does not appreciate, writing "people find it difficult to paint my portrait because I do not have the patience to pose properly."

Madame is seated in a walnut wood armchair, she holds in her right hand a black veil gas, symbol of her widowhood, while her other hand rests on a crown. She is dressed in a dress of gold brocade, a large pearl necklace is worn as a belt, a fleur-de-lys coat is thrown over her shoulders.

Madame will be satisfied with this portrait "it has reproduced me so perfectly, that it is astonishing: ugly, enormous, but the face filled with finesse and vivacity". The king "is struck by the resemblance and magnificence of the adjustments to this work and told this princess that he wanted her to keep it for herself, and that she had a copy made for him to whom she had it. had intended, which was executed. This great prince added that this work did honor to its author and that he would do him in all times ".

The portrait of 144cm x 112cm is therefore drawn in four hundred copies and preserved today at the Berlin Museum.


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