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Portrait of Madame Léon Maître (Portrait de Madame Léon Maître)

Henri Fantin-Latour

European Art

Henri Fantin-Latour imbued his sitter—the sister-in-law of a friend—with an air of introspective melancholy, and the delicately rendered jewelry, fan, and corsage reveal his talent for still life. While working on this portrait, the artist likely saw A Bar at the Folies-Bergère in the studio of his longtime friend Édouard Manet. Madame Maître’s black, lace-trimmed evening dress, her choker, and the flowers at her décolletage are similar to the barmaid’s. Both paintings were displayed at the 1882 Paris Salon, but whereas Manet’s ambiguous scene of a lower-class woman at work caused a public sensation, critics praised Fantin-Latour’s more sedate portraits, such as this one, as exemplars of femininity and breeding: “No one expresses like Monsieur Fantin-Latour the freshness of flowers and the natural gentleness of women of good solid bourgeois stock.”
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES 1882
    DIMENSIONS 50 × 55 1/8 in., 122 lb. (127 × 140 cm, 55.34kg) frame: 62 x 67 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (157.5 x 170.8 x 10.8 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated upper right: "Fantin. 82"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Gift of A. Augustus Healy and George A. Hearn
    PROVENANCE Prior provenance not yet documented; circa 1882, possibly acquired from the artist by Léon Maître of Nantes, France; before 1906, possibly acquired by Gustave Tempelaere of Paris, France; before 1906, possibly acquired by Obach & Co., London, United Kingdom; 1906, purchased by Aaron Augustus Healy of Brooklyn, NY and George Arnold Hearn of New York, NY; 1906, gift of Aaron Augustus Healy and George Arnold Hearn to the Brooklyn Museum.
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    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836–1904). Portrait of Madame Léon Maître (Portrait de Madame Léon Maître), 1882. Oil on canvas, 50 × 55 1/8 in., 122 lb. (127 × 140 cm, 55.34kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of A. Augustus Healy and George A. Hearn, 06.69 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 06.69_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 06.69_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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