Beautiful portrait representing Madeleine Marie Honorine de Glymes, princess of Berghes and Duchess of Luynes (1680-1744).
She is depicted in the guise of Flora, crowned by Cupid.
She wears a bright blue dress that contrasts with the pearly color of her flesh and the pink of her cheeks.
Her hairstyle "à la Fontage" is delicately powdered and allows a glimpse of her neck.
This sensuality is reinforced by luscious lips enhanced with red, while her eyelids are blurred to emphasize her beautiful blue eyes that stare at the viewer.
With his enticing air, Cupid presents her with a garland of multicolored flowers.
Oil on canvas, very good condition, small retouches.
Wooden frame and gilded stucco of the 19th century.
Parisian work around 1700-1710, attributable to Pierre Gobert and Pierre-Nicolas Huillot for the flowers.
Frame : Height : 140 cm ; Width : 113 cm.
Canvas : Height : 118 cm ; Width : 91 cm.
Portraits of Duchesses by Pierre Gobert near :
- Château de Versailles : Portrait of the Duchess of Model as Hébé or of the Duchess of Conti as Flora.
-By descent, kept in the family.
Our Opinion :
The important painting we present is not, as is too often the case, the umpteenth studio version, but a master painting that has remained in the possession of the model's descendants.
It is attributable to Pierre Gobert himself, with the help of the flower painter Pierre Nicolas Huillot (1674-1751), who assisted him for the floral representations during the most important orders.
We can even add that this is one of the most beautiful portraits known of Pierre Gobert.
As a specialist in female portraits, he portrayed the elite of the Parisian nobility.
According to a well-established scheme, he will represent the duchesses and other countesses, as Hebé, as Flore, as source ....
In our portrait, he uses his talents as a colorist, with a particularly bright lapis lazuli blue and delicate pastel colors.
The flowers alone are a painting in their own right, as much for their variety, as for the precision of the brush.
But above all, Pierre Gobert will arouse envy by sublimating the carnal beauty of the one who was according to Saint-Simon "beautiful and very well made" and who was for others simply the most beautiful woman of his time.
He will excel in this difficult exercise which makes a painting alive and detaches it completely from the flat works of the workshop.
It is very likely that this request came from the model herself, who was the mistress of the great elector Max Emmanuel of Bavaria and who was the subject of court intrigues.
Our work perfectly symbolizes the "scandalous" period of these rich courtesans of the end of the reign of Louis the XIVth.
*Marie Honorine de Glymes
Nicknamed Melle de Montigny, she was a canoness of Mons before becoming the mistress of Max Emmanuel of Bavaria who proposed her in marriage to the Duke Louis Joseph d'Albert de Luynes in 1709, in order to hide his affair.
In return, the Elector offered 100 000 pounds, land and the position of Grand Squire of the Court to his friend, while his mistress received an annual income of 40 000 pounds.
If the marriage will be "detestable" according to Saint Simon, Marie Honorine will follow her husband in turn in Munich, in Spain, in Liège, then in Paris for ambassadorial posts.
To reward him for his fidelity, Karl Albrecht granted him the title of Prince of Berghes and Grimberghen in 1729.
They will stay in the castle of this principality before leaving for Paris, where his new position of ambassador extraordinary to King Louis the XVth will occupy him at the court of Versailles until his death in 1758.
Saint-Simon will say of him "He distinguished himself by the most brilliant actions in war and he was favored by the most beautiful ladies .... ».
Pierre Gobert (1662-1744)
Son of Jean Gobert, sculptor to the King, grandson of Jean Gobert the elder, carpenter sculptor, brother of Jean Gobert called "ordinary painter to the King", Pierre Gobert would have been born in Paris or in Fontainebleau in 1662. Perhaps trained by Claude Lefèvre, he would have worked since 1679 for the court of Bavaria, by creating the portrait of Marie-Anne, future dauphine of France. Renewing her confidence in the artist, she commissioned the portrait of her son, the Duke of Burgundy, at Versailles in 1682. Pierre Gobert was admitted to the Academy of Painting on September 24th, 1701, with the portraits of Corneille van Clève and Bon Boullogne. He exhibited fifteen portraits at the Salon of 1704, demonstrating his privileged access to the court : among these were the portraits of the Duchess of Maine and the little Duke of Brittany, the future Louis the XVth. Thanks to this reputation, and probably through the mediation of Elisabeth-Charlotte, Gobert was approached by the court of Lorraine in 1707 to paint the portraits of the Dukes of Lorraine, Elisabeth-Charlotte of Orleans and the four princesses. It is likely that Gobert developed a studio during this period, since he seems to have gone back and forth between Paris and Lorraine, and even had portraits sent from Paris. Gobert thus obtained the title of ordinary painter to the Duke of Lorraine, and continued to deliver portraits to the court, notably in 1719 and 1721. He thus participated in the artistic influence of the court of Lunéville, which sought to follow in the footsteps of Versailles.
On his return to Paris, strengthened by this prestigious introduction, which he used to bear the title of "ordinary painter of the Duke of Lorraine", Gobert then worked for the Condé and Conti families, and for the Elector Max Emmanuel of Bavaria. In 1737, the painter shone one last time by presenting at the Salon one of his most ambitious portraits, that of the family of the Duke of Valentinois (Monaco, princely palace). By the choice of his somewhat frozen attitudes, by the affected and graceful disposition of the fingers of his female models, by the depersonalized and flattering type of his resolutely placid faces, Gobert had succeeded in creating, thanks to his hard work and recognition, a style that contrasted with the works of Largillierre and Rigaud, his contemporaries.