75
75
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
LA POLONAISE (A POLISH BEAUTY)
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 50,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT
75
Jean-Baptiste Greuze
LA POLONAISE (A POLISH BEAUTY)
Estimate
40,00060,000
LOT SOLD. 50,000 USD
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Master Paintings

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New York

Jean-Baptiste Greuze
TOURNUS 1725 - 1805 PARIS
LA POLONAISE (A POLISH BEAUTY)

Provenance

Jeanne Becu, Comtesse du Barry (1743-1793), Louveciennes;
Her sale, Paris, 22 December 1775, lot 22 (bought in);
Her sale, Paris, 17 February 1777, lot 54 (withdrawn at 500 livres);
Glazunov collection, St. Petersberg;
With Wildenstein & Co., New York;
McMillen Inc., New York, prior to 1930;
By whom sold to the family of the present owner, 1930.

Exhibited

J. Martin in C. Mauclair, Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre peint et dessiné de Jean-Baptiste Greuze, Paris 1906, cat. no. 1231 (as "Polonatise (Jeune). À la vene Du Barry, en 1777, était etiré â Hampton Court. (Th. Lejeune).)

Catalogue Note

We are grateful to Edgar Munhall, who based on firsthand inspection, has confirmed the present painting to be by Greuze, and suggests a probable dating to the mid-1760's. In a written communication Munhall writes, " Following the death of her royal lover Louis XV in 1774, his mistress Madame du Barry was forced to live in relatively reduced circumstances. Thus in 1775 she put up for sale in Paris some 338 paintings, drawings, and objets d'art from her remarkable collection. Among the five important paintings by Greuze included in the sales was this "jeune & jolie Polonaise" catalogued as a pendant to a similarly-sized image of "une amiable femme...posée négligemnet sur un canapé." While the [present picture] was withdrawn from the sale of 1777 at 500 livres, the latter fetched the hefty figure of 2599 livres probably because of its more salacious subject (described in the sale catalogue as "la tête couverte d'un voile & la gorge presque nue"). There is no justification for Martin's assertion that La Polonaise ever formed part of the collections at Hampton Palace. 

The term "â la polonaise" in reference to eighteenth-century dress usually implied the addition of fur as a lining or edging of female garments. In the present case, however, the fur appears independent of the subject's coat."

Dr. Munhall's original letter of expertise accompanies this lot. 

Old Master Paintings

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