Portrait of a Young Woman

Portrait of a Young Woman
Claude-Marie Dubufe (French, 1790-1864)
c. 1843
Oil on canvas 
51-1/8 x 38-3/8 in. (129.8 x 97.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Accession Number:
© Norton Simon Art Foundation 
Not on View

Claude-Marie Dubufe began his career painting mythological and religious subjects, and later, sentimental genre scenes. After two decades of success, he turned his attention to the men and women of the bourgeoisie. His portraits were extremely popular, not just in Paris, but also abroad, where he had shown some of his earlier work. Indeed, if one could not afford to sit for Ingres, Dubufe was a suitable second choice. The earliest-known title associated with this work is “Young English Woman.” Though we do not know the identity of the subject, we can see from her surroundings that she is a paragon of the upper middle class. Leaning against a meticulously carved side table that showcases rich brocade, leather-bound books, a porcelain vase and a few pink roses, the subject stares directly, even inquisitively, out of the canvas. Her spiraled tendrils are as meticulously executed as the black lace of her dress, and the overall tone of the picture is one of controlled refinement.


Private Collection, Paris.
[Etablissement Rustique, Vaduz, Leichenstein, consigned to];
[Heim Gallery Ltd., London, sold 1977 to];
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

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