The Duchesse de Choiseul as Diana

The Duchesse de Choiseul as Diana
Jean-Baptiste Oudry (French, 1686-1755)
c. 1704
Oil on canvas 
54-1/2 x 42-1/4 in. (138.4 x 107.3 cm) 
Credit Line:
The Norton Simon Foundation 
Accession Number:
© The Norton Simon Foundation 
Not on View

When this painting was purchased by Duveens from Comtesse Jacques de Sieyas de Veynes in 1954, it was attributed to Nicolas de Largillière, Oudry’s teacher. Its composition is very similar to a smaller work at the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University: the latter picture lacks the dog, and the sitter holds a bow rather than a sword. More importantly, the Fogg painting is attributed to Mignard, an unlikely possibility for the Simon painting.

Correspondence in the Duveen archives shows that Edward Fowles was particularly keen to discover the sitter’s identity, and outside consultants were hired in an effort to determine it. In the end, Fowles was convinced that it indeed depicted Marie Bouthillier de Chavigny, who as the second wife of César Auguste, Duc de Choiseul, took the title Duchesse de Choiseul in 1699. If this is the case, the painting would be a very early work by the young Parisian painter, whose father was also an artist.


Messers. Hogarth & Sons, 96 Mount Street (sale, London, Christie’s, 19 February 1875, lot 69, sold gns. 5.15.6 to);
Edwin Lake Walker, Princes Gate, London (sale, London, Christie’s, 6-29 April 1916, 9th day, lot 1426, as attributed to Largillière, for gns. 241.10 to);
[Milner, for(?);]
Comtesse Jacques de Sieyes de Veynes (1893-1972), Washington, Connecticut, sold 2 August 1954 to;
[Duveen Bros., New York, stock no. 30185, sold 1965 to];
The Norton Simon Foundation.

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via email. Requests can also be made by fax or mail.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Please fill our our Online Reproduction Request Form or download the Application for Reproduction Permission PDF Form and submit it to the Office of Rights and Reproductions.

E-mail: [email protected]
Telephone: (626) 449-6840 x 3300
Fax: (626) 796-4978