Magnificent presumed portrait of Françoise-Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, the Marquise de Montespan, depicted dazzlingly with her refinement in youthful glow.
The palette of intense colors highlighting the white flesh of the young woman enchants with its splendor.
The young woman is portrayed seated, leaning on a red cushion, she is seen up to her knees.
Her head turned three-quarters, she rests her cheek on her folded fingers.
Her delicate face with a fresh complexion and made smooth, appears in a mass of curly and powdered blond hair.
She looks at the viewer with her wide eyes with slightly lowered lids, which give her a languid look.
Adorned with a necklace, earrings and pearl jewelry, she is dressed in a blue dress embroidered with foliage of gold and silver thread; open to the waist, fastened with gemstone clasps and revealing a white blouse adorned with rich lace, subtly untied at the chest.
The young woman pinches in her long, slender fingers a few sprigs of orange blossom and daffodils.
A wine-colored curtain, fringed with gold, is stretched on the bottom.
Attributed to Henri Gascar (Paris, 1635 – Rome, 1701)
Oil on canvas of oval shape.
Dimensions: h. 96 cm, w. 78cm
Giltwood frame carved “a la Berain” from the Louis XIV period
Dimensions: h. 112 cm, w. 94cm
Henri Gascar was a favorite painter of Madame de Montespan.
Our portrait presents in its treatment many similarities with the large portrait of Madame de Montespan in her castle of Clagny (Henri Gascar, private collection).
We find the same position leaning on the cushion in the portrait of Madame Maintenon by Henri Gascar (Bernard d'Agesci museum, in Niort), of a very chaste nature, we notice that her blouse is well attached.
Henri Gascar (1635, Paris - 1701, Rome) (also Gascard or Gascars) was a French portrait painter.
Working at the beginning of his career in Paris and among others for Madame de Montespan, he was invited to the court of London in 1674 under the patronage of the Duchess of Portsmouth who ensured him numerous commissions.
On his return to Paris, Gascar was elected a member of the Royal Academy on October 26, 1680. He then went to Rome where he enjoyed a great reputation and died there on January 1, 1701, at the age of 66.