Another version of this portrait is in the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco (inv. 1996.88). That pastel, which was sold from the collection of Jacques de Bryas in Paris in 19051, is slightly larger, and the sitter has a subtly different hairstyle. This, together with stylistic considerations, leads Neil Jeffares to conclude that the present work is rather earlier, dating from the 1750s, while the San Francisco version must have been made in the later 1760s.
In terms of quality, this ranks among Perronneau's best works, with a lightness of touch and sure characterisation that few of his contemporaries could match.
1. Sale, Paris, 6 February 1905, lot 17; we are grateful to Neil Jeffares for pointing out that the Bordeaux 1989 exhibition catalogue (loc. cit.) appears to conflate the provenance of the two versions, stating that de Meurville sold his pastel to de Bryas.
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