Marie-Geneviève Bouliar (French, 1763-1825)
On View

Marie-Geneviève Bouliar was one of a small number of women artists to receive public recognition in 18th-century France. The daughter of a tailor, she learned to paint under the guidance of the acclaimed portraitist Joseph-Siffred Duplessis. Early in her career, Bouliar was among the first generation of women to exhibit their work in the Parisian Salon, and she won the Prix d’Encouragement (Encouragement Prize). Soon after, the government provided her with a rent-free studio in the Louvre, indicating official recognition of her talent.

Bouliar’s portraits are characterized by a sense of sincerity, warmth and informality. Unlike her mentor Duplessis, Bouliar preferred to paint her sitters facing forward. Here, the gentle tilt of her head and the slightly disheveled scarf add a freshness and immediacy to this intimate self-portrait.


  • Artist Name: Marie-Geneviève Bouliar (French, 1763-1825)
  • Title: Self-Portrait
  • Date: 1792
  • Medium: Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions: 21-7/8 x 18-1/8 in. (55.5 x 46 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Art Foundation, Gift of Mr. Norton Simon
  • Accession Number: M.1979.43.P
  • Copyright: © Norton Simon Art Foundation

Object Information

Possibly [Gimpel] or [Sulzbach] (sale, Paris, Hotel Drouot, 31 May 1919, lot 32, as “d’après Bouliar,” sold 410 Ffr. to Mancuso[?]).
[Édouard Jonas, Paris, in 1923].
Baron Jean “Henri” Maurice Hottinguer (1868–1943), and Baronne Hottinguer (1871–1936) in 1926 and 1928, to;
Baron Rodolphe “Maurice” Hottinguer (1902–1985).
(Sale, Paris, Palais Galliera, 7 April 1976, lot 18, ill., as Marie-Geneviève Bouliard, Portrait présumé de l’artiste par elle-même, to);
[Sylvia Blatas, Paris, buying for];
Norton Simon, acc. N.1976.16.1.P, sold 1979 to;
Norton Simon Art Foundation.

Explication des Peintures, Gravures, Miniatures & Autres Ouvrages de Femmes Peintres du XVIIIe Siècle

  • Hôtel des Négociants, Paris, 1926 to

Six Centuries of Portraiture from the Permanent Collection

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1989-11-02 to 1990-12-16
  • Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, California, Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum, p. 108
  • Jonas, Edouard, La Renaissance, illustration of one of the "salons rez-de-Chaussée" in which the NSAF portrait is shown on wall left of doorway p. 339
  • Hôtel des Négociants, Explication des Peintures, Gravures, Miniatures & Autres Ouvrages de Femmes Peintres du XVIIIe Siècle, 1926, no. 8 p. 27
  • Oulmont, Charles, Les Femmes Peintres du XVIIIe Siècle, 1928, note 1. p. 56
  • Harris, Ann Sutherland; and Linda Nochlin, Women Artists: 1550-1950, 1978, note 3. p. 202
  • Brettell, Richard R. and Stephen F. Eisenman, Nineteenth-Century Art in the Norton Simon Museum, volume 1, 2006,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best, 2010, cat. 1325 p. 394
  • Angeles Caso, Ellas mismas. Autorretratos de pintoras / Her Own Image. Self-Portraits by Women, 2016, fig. 54 p. 261 ; p. 121 (ill.)

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