Getty Acquires Portrait by Sophie Frémiet

April 15 2024

Image of Getty Acquires Portrait by Sophie Frémiet

Picture: getty

Posted by Adam Busiakeiwicz:

The J. Paul Getty Museum have announced their acquisition of a Portrait of a Lady by the female artist Sophie Frémiet (1797–1867). The work was acquired from the dealers Robilant + Voena, who had presumably purchased the painting at Christie's New York earlier in May 2023 where it was offered as 'Attributed to'.

According to the museum's press release:

Portrait of a Woman is believed to be one of two ambitious, full-length portraits the artist exhibited at the 1818 Salon in Brussels, her public debut at just 21 years old. A talented pupil of the neoclassical painter Jacques-Louis David, then the most celebrated painter in Europe, Fremiet’s Portrait of a Woman shows how thoroughly she had mastered David’s style, while highlighting her own particular talents in the rendering of different fabrics and materials.

Aroung the same time that Fremiet painted Portrait of a Woman, David tasked her with creating a copy of his The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis, which he declared was so skillfully executed that it appeared indistinguishable from his original. She continued to impress David and critics at the various Salons where she exhibited her portraits, historical scenes, and mythological compositions like La Belle Anthia. Upon seeing the last work, a fellow mentee of David wrote to him that Fremiet was “a woman only in clothing but a man by her merit.” While pejorative today, this comment legitimized her in the eyes of her male peers.

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