CARMONTELLE, Louis Carrogis de
(b. 1717, Paris, d. 1806, Paris)

The Duchess of Chaulnes as a Gardener in an Allée

Watercolour and gouache over black and red chalk on off-white paper, 318 x 191 mm
J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles

In this poignant portrait, Louis Carmontelle depicted Marie d'Albert de Luynes taking up the vogue for gardening that Queen Marie Antoinette had popularised among noble women. Gently raking in a verdant allée or garden path, Marie probably posed during a social event at the Parisian court of the duc d'Orléans. At the duke's parties, master of ceremonies Louis Carmontelle entertained guests by drawing on-the-spot portraits.

Carmontelle first sketched using black chalk for the body and red chalk for the arms and face. Later on, he added watercolour, allowing much of the black chalk and blank white paper in her dress to show through.

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