DUCREUX, Rose-Adélaide
(b. 1761, Paris, d. 1802, Santo Domingo)


French painter and musician. She was the eldest daughter of the well-known portraitist Joseph Ducreux (1735-1802), principal portraitist to Marie Antoinette (1755-1793), who had traveled to the Queen's native Vienna to paint her in 1769. Rose-Adélaide studied with her father. Since they were not members of the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, both Joseph Ducreux and his daughter were excluded from the official Salon until 1791, when the doors were opened to all.

She was one of the rare, critically successful female artists of late eighteenth-century France. Though her life was cut short by illness, in her brief career Ducreux exhibited at a number of important exhibitions beginning in 1786 and continuing until 1799, including the January 1786 Salon de la Correspondance, and the 1791 Salon at the Louvre. She showed two works at the latter show, including her most famous work, Self-Portrait with a Harp (New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art).

She was accomplished both as a performer and as a composer. She married François Lequoy de Montgiraud (1748-1804), the maritime prefect of Saint-Domingue; in 1802 she moved with him to the colony, where she died, without issue, of yellow fever.

A portrait of Ducreux by Jacques-Louis David exists; it depicts her at the harp, performing a sonata by Jan Ladislav Dussek.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.