Lot 64
  • 64

Henri-Pierre Danloux

100,000 - 150,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Henri-Pierre Danloux
  • Portrait of Madame de l'Horme and her son
  • signed and dated lower left: HP Danloux/1801
  • oil on canvas
  • 40 1/4 x 33 1/2 inches


Monsieur and Madame Barthélémy Fleury de l'Horme;
By descent to their son, Jean-Louis-Ernest de l'Horme;
By descent to a private collection;
Anonymous sale, Paris, Nouveau Drouot, 3 July 1987, lot 39.


The following condition report has been provided by Simon Parkes of Simon Parkes Art Conservation, Inc. 502 East 74th St. New York, NY 212-734-3920, simonparkes@msn.com, an independent restorer who is not an employee of Sotheby's. This painting has been recently restored and should be hung in its current state. The canvas is unlined and the stretcher is old. Some of the heavier areas of paint in the golden curtain on the left have developed some cracks, but these are not unstable or distracting. While some of the darker colors are more loosely and transparently applied, it does not seem that any abrasion has occurred. The retouches that have been added are very good and accurate. They can be seen in isolated spots within the picture, but none of them are any indication of abrasion or structural weakness. A few tiny dots have been applied in the faces of the mother and the child and in the mother's right bicep. Along the bottom edge, there are slightly more numerous restorations, but this is clearly a well preserved picture.
"This lot is offered for sale subject to Sotheby's Conditions of Business, which are available on request and printed in Sotheby's sale catalogues. The independent reports contained in this document are provided for prospective bidders' information only and without warranty by Sotheby's or the Seller."

Catalogue Note

The sitters in this tender portrayal of a mother and her child are Madame Barthélémy Fleury de l’Horme (1774-1835) and her fourth son, Jean-Louis-Ernest (1800-1878).  Between 1791 and 1816, she and her husband, a native of Lyon, had nine children – seven sons and two daughters – two of whom died in infancy.  Danloux depicts Madame de l’Horme as she nestles her young son on her lap, momentarily distracted by something she views out the window at left.  As she holds back the curtain, light floods in dramatically illuminating her white gown and the pale yellow satin fabric draped over the side of the cradle.  The intimacy and spontaneity of the scene are reminiscent of a portrait Danloux painted of his own wife and son a decade earlier, in which he also made use of striking chiaroscuro effects.1  The present painting descended in the family of the sitters until 1987.

Danloux’s early training was with Nicolas-Bernard Lépicie and Joseph-Marie Vien, whom he followed to Italy in 1775 following Vien’s appointment as director of the French Academy in Rome.  After his return to France, Danloux lived briefly in Lyon; he returned to Paris in 1785 where he became established as a well known portrait painter with the help of the Baronne d’Etigny, whose adopted daughter he married in 1787.  The Revolution forced Danloux and his family to flee to London in 1792.  During his decade long sojourn in England, he became acquainted with, and influenced by, such fashionable English portrait painters as Thomas Lawrence, John Hoppner and, particularly, George Romney.  He exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1792-1800, and received numerous commissions in England and Scotland.  Despite his success abroad, he and his family returned to France in 1801, the very year in which he executed this Portrait of Madame de l’Horme.


1.  See New York, Newhouse Galleries; London, Verner Amell Gallery, Old Master Paintings, an exhibition of European Paintings from the 16th century to the 19th century, 1991, cat. no. 25, reproduced.