L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Madame Riesener and her son, Léon, by Delacroix, 1835



Madame Riesener (née Félicité Longrois, 1786-1847), known as a beauty in her youth, had served as lady-in-waiting to the Empress Joséphine. (And is thought to have had a brief liaison with the Emperor, as well.) In 1807 she married the painter Henri-François Riesener (1767-1828), himself the son of the famous cabinet maker, Jean-Henri Riesener. The painter Delacroix was a nephew of Henri-François, and therefore a cousin of the latter's son, Léon (1808–1878), who would also become a well-known artist. Delacroix was the elder by a decade, and did much to further the career of Léon, and the two were very close.

Madame Riesener was forty-nine and seven years a widow when she sat for her nephew.
The details of Madame Riesener's toilette are very artfully chosen and suavely rendered.







2 comments:

  1. Such gorgeous portraits. How much attention is given to the garment of the sitter is always so very interesting as is the background and palette. I love Ms. Riesener's bonnet and outfit - that orange and the pattern in her scarf has a very contemporary presence! The collar and buttons on the gentleman's portrait are such lovely accents of his dress and that 6 o'clock shadow is yummy! Lovely post, Stephen. Thank you!

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    1. I agree, of course, with your comments Miss Lisa! The scarf is especially wonderful. One of the things I keep noticing about the son's portrait is how the "incorrectness" of the white of his right eye - whether it was painted that way, or is a result of the age of the paint - takes away the sense of "real-life". If you cover his left eye, and look at the right one and the rest of the portrait, the whole thing seem flattened and "painted" rather than life-like. But if you cover the right eye, and only look at his left one and the rest of the painting, he comes back to life. Such a small thing but, to me anyway, it changes everything.

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