In the 1904 sale (see Provenance) the sitters were identified as Emilie Brongniart (1780-1847), wife of Baron Louis-André Pichon (1771-1854) and her cousin, the wife of the chemist M. de Fourcroy. The identification of the Baroness Pichon in this portrait seems quite plausible when a comparison is made to the portrait painted of her by Francois Pascal Simon, Baron Gérard in 1795 when she was fifteen.1 However, the wife of the chemist Antoine François, comte de Fourcroy, née Adélaide-Flore Belleville (first married to Charles de Wailly) was born in 1765. The two sitters in this portrait look to be very close in age, making it doubtful that the young woman depicted standing and holding a letter is Mme de Fourcroy. However, the Fourcroys and the family of Baroness Pichon were certainly related, so this may be another Fourcroy “cousine."
1. In the collection of the Yale University Art Gallery, Inv. no. 2010.97.1
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