Portrait of Madame Léon Maître (Portrait de Madame Léon Maître)
On View: European Art Galleries, 5th floor
Henri Fantin-Latour imbued his sitter—the sister-in-law of a friend—with an air of introspective melancholy, and the delicately rendered jewelry, fan, and corsage reveal his talent for still life. While working on this portrait, the artist likely saw A Bar at the Folies-Bergère in the studio of his longtime friend Édouard Manet. Madame Maître’s black, lace-trimmed evening dress, her choker, and the flowers at her décolletage are similar to the barmaid’s. Both paintings were displayed at the 1882 Paris Salon, but whereas Manet’s ambiguous scene of a lower-class woman at work caused a public sensation, critics praised Fantin-Latour’s more sedate portraits, such as this one, as exemplars of femininity and breeding: “No one expresses like Monsieur Fantin-Latour the freshness of flowers and the natural gentleness of women of good solid bourgeois stock.”
Oil on canvas
50 × 55 1/8 in., 122 lb. (127 × 140 cm, 55.34kg)
frame: 62 x 67 1/4 x 4 1/4 in. (157.5 x 170.8 x 10.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed and dated upper right: "Fantin. 82"
Gift of A. Augustus Healy and George A. Hearn
Henri Fantin-Latour (French, 1836-1904). Portrait of Madame Léon Maître (Portrait de Madame Léon Maître), 1882. Oil on canvas, 50 × 55 1/8 in., 122 lb. (127 × 140 cm, 55.34kg). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of A. Augustus Healy and George A. Hearn, 06.69 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 06.69_PS9.jpg)
overall, 06.69_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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