Mystery Woman

Mysterywoman One of my favorite paintings.

Who is she?

Where is she?

When was she painted?

Pat Lang

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25 Responses to Mystery Woman

  1. Bodo says:

    Too easy, Colonel–too many tracks. “Portrait of a Young Woman in White,” oil on canvas, circle of David, ca. 1798, Chester Dale Collection, National Gallery of Art.

  2. parvati_roma says:

    A young Emma Hamilton in pensive mood?

  3. arbogast says:

    If that nipple was a gun, we’d all be dead now.
    Is she French?

  4. W. Patrick Lang says:

    Sans aucune doute. pl

  5. Babak Makkinejad says:

    French, Louis Bonaparte Period

  6. Hal Carpenter says:

    Dear Col. Lang,
    I believe that this painting is by the great French Miniaturist Jean-Batiste Isabey. The draped royal robe would indicate that it is one of Napoleon’s three sisters. She is certainly wearing an Imperial period dress and has the oval face.
    Isabey did numerous paintings at Napoleon’s court.
    This looks most like the youngest, Caroline although both Elisa and Paolina had the same oval face. The paintings of the women at aren’t clear enough to destinguish, although you would notice that in both Caroline’s and Elisa’s there is a similar near purple robe draped about them. The painting of Paolina was done before the Emperial period or it would also have the royal robe.
    Then again, maybe not, I can’t locate the exact painting, but I think Isabey (he had a wonderful eye for the tranquil use of neutral tones) is the path to follow and the robe leads to royalty.
    I hope that doesn’t lead you down the wrong path.
    Hal Carpenter
    (computer glitch) I’m not sure if I just sent this comment or not, so this is double or nothing.

  7. pbrownlee says:

    Ingres — or one of his students??

  8. It’s Dutch.
    A lonely lady.

  9. Hal Carpenter says:

    Hi again Col,
    Ahem..let me correct myself..the painter is probably Isabey’s friend and fellow court artist, François Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard. Gerard’s paintings of Napoleon’s family were larger and his skin tones and clothing folds almost exactly match this painting.
    And, all this knowledge comes from knowing a hippie chick who liked Empire dresses many and many a year ago.
    It’s bugging me now, so I’ll keep hunting, but I’m nearly certain about Napoleanic court painting and royal family Ca. 1810.
    BTW, Napoleon’s sisters, tarts that they were, didn’t wear the lace covering the breasts. That was added by their painters. Sometimes tyrants can bring great social advances.
    Hal Carpenter

  10. Dave of Maryland says:

    French, around 1800, or so I think, but none of the above.
    Too striking not to be all over Google images, if we can only guess the artist. I tried Jacques-Louis David, but no luck.

  11. Hal Carpenter says:

    ok Col.,
    Three strikes and I’m out.
    I assumed the painting was post-Davidian, but not by David himself. He painted the famous works of “The Death of Marat” with the knife wound in his bathtub, and “Napoleon Crowns Himself”.
    This painting is not by his students Isabey or Gerard. David painted this himself. He denied that it was Napoleon’s sister, but someone had just gotten in trouble for sculpting Paolina bare breasted.
    This painting is:
    Portrait of a Young Woman in White, c. 1798-1804
    oil on canvas, 125.5 x 95 cm (49 1/2 x 37 1/2 in.)
    Chester Dale Collection
    It is in the National Gallery.
    My God, I love the Internet. You can find anything.
    Hal Carpenter

  12. Freeman says:

    Col: Sorry, no idea, but can suggest you try the web site:
    which has a vast collection of fine art with a searchable database. Of course for this to be of much use, you need some guess as to the artist or period, etc. But if that fails they have a user forum with a section for picture identification by such as students and teachers, where you might get lucky, so to speak.

  13. Hal Carpenter says:

    My last post on this.
    I just wanted to congratulate Dave of Maryland. I just saw your post, you beat me by minutes.
    David it is, Dave.
    Hal Carpenter

  14. W. Patrick Lang says:

    The prize goes to Bodo who nailed it/her within half an hour of the posting.
    She hangs in the National Gallery in the Neo-Classical collection and I have visited her from time to time for many years. pl

  15. Hal Carpenter says:

    Mystery Woman, huh?
    The hunt was great fun, but I foolishly thought you were really looking for the info. The whole time I was thinking,”How can Col Lang not recognize all those Napoleanic features?”
    Answer; Of course he recognized them. I been suckered.
    Hal Carpenter

  16. W. Patrick Lang says:

    I said it was one of my favorite paintings. Yes. great fun. Reminds me of several courses I took in college. My Fine Arts professor taught us to paint, etc, but he also like to make us learn to sight identify a lot of works of art. pl

  17. JD says:

    An amazing collection. Chester Dale is interesting to.
    I initially thought it was a David of Josephine, circa 1800. A very similar painting of J is over at Wiki. I stand corrected, if I was indeed wrong.

  18. Dave of Maryland says:

    Hauntingly beautiful, whoever she is. In tearing through perhaps a thousand images, I came across a note that after Marie Antoinette’s execution, women took to wearing their hair short in memory of her tragic end. The mystery woman has such cropped hair.
    Me, I do music & have long puzzled over Beethoven’s Eroica. I am toying with the idea the famous funeral march was “officially” in memory of Louis XVI, as it seems to fit, but actually written in the memory of his wife, a Viennese girl who made good, for a time.

  19. Rebecca says:

    It’s a beautiful painting.

  20. Inessa says:

    Hello! In my book of history of fasion, that is madame Hamelin, i’d like to know more about. Is it possible?

  21. Inessa says:

    Oh, i have forgotten to say the name of the panter: that is Jaqcue-Louis David, she was pented in France, époque of Franche Revolution, se is wering a dress, partiqulated to this epoque.

  22. Inessa says:

    Well, and i have the same face, that is why i serch more information. I now in France, but was born in Russia, if she has tites with russian families?

  23. Good eye! T’is a portait worth visiting,

  24. David Ehrlich says:

    Hello Inessa —
    I saw your 2009 post, I am also fascinated with Madame Fortunee Hamelin, la “merveilleuse” femme who was painted by Jacuqe-Louis David and also (Not so beautifully) by Appiani.
    As I live in Washington, I’ve visited the portrait in the National Gallery, and have sought to learn what I could about her via the Net.
    If this reaches you, please try me – I will be happy to share what I’ve found with you — she does seem to have been quite a babe if you’re prepared to read between the lines.

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