DAVID, Jacques-Louis
(b. 1748, Paris, d. 1825, Bruxelles)

Portrait of Marguerite-Charlotte David

Oil on canvas, 72 x 63 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The painting represents the wife of the artist. In Napoleonic Paris David and his wife were hardly a splendid or striking couple. The English novelist Fanny Burney called Madame David 'a woman of no sort of elegance ... and if she ever possessed any beauty, it had deserted her at an early period', but in compensation she was clever, shrewd and penetrating, yet prone to sarcasm.