Lot 69
  • 69

Marguerite Gérard

100,000 - 150,000 USD
125,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Marguerite Gérard
  • Two ladies in an interior reading a letter, with a dog on a bench looking into a mirror 
  • signed lower left: Mle gerard
  • oil on panel
  • 25 3/4  by 21 in.; 65.5 by 53.4 cm.


Possibly Rivière;
Anonymous sale, Paris, 24 December 1821, lot 10;
M. Le Général Ribourt;
By whom sold, Paris, Hôtel Drouot, 25-26 March 1895, lot 21;
By whom sold, Paris, 13-15 May 1907, lot 28;
Seligmann, Paris, 1937;
Anonymous sale, Paris, 10 June 1954, lot 28;
Private collection, France;
By whom sold, New York, Sotheby's, 28 May 1999, lot 207.


S. Wells-Robertson, Marguerite Gérard 1761-1837, 1978, vol. II, p. 845, cat. no. 70a.

Catalogue Note

Marguerite Gérard was born in Grasse but moved to Paris in 1775 to live with her elder sister Marie-Anne and Marie-Anne’s husband, the painter Jean Honoré Fragonard. Gérard became Fragonard’s protégé, and while living with her sister and brother-in-law at their quarters in the Louvre, she was surrounded by the greatest works of art in Europe, specifically drawing inspiration from the Dutch interior scenes of the 17th century. Gérard became one of the first female French genre painters, and by the late 1780s she had established her reputation as one of the leading female artists in France.

In this painting, traditionally called "La Bonne Nouvelle," two well-dressed ladies are in an elegant boudoir; one reads a letter while the other looks over her shoulder.  A self-admiring spaniel looks into the mirror beside them.  The work is a beautiful example of Marguerite Gérard's most commercial compositions: lavish interior scenes featuring upper class French women. Gérard is noted for her meticulous attention to luxurious details within her genre scenes, contrasted in their sharp rendering by her penchant for softly modeled figures. The painting relates to another painting of the same subject by the artist, exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1804, no. 200, along with a pendant picture titled "La Mauvaise Nouvelle."1 

1. Oil on canvas, 62 by 51 cm., see S. Wells-Robertson, Marguerite Gérard 1761-1837, 1978, vol. II, p. 845, cat. no. 70.