Edward Grosvenor Paine (1911-1994); his sale, London, Christie’s, 28 October 1980, lot 20 (as 'Reclining nude')
It has been suggested that this seductive portrait miniature may depict one of the great beauties of Napoleonic France; the celebrated Madame Récamier. Born Juliette Bernard, she was the daughter of a Lyonnais notary. In 1792 she moved to Paris with her family and that same year married a successful financier Jacques-Rose Recamier, who was thirty years her senior. She became a great hostess and her salon, at the Rue du Mont-Blanc, attracted the most important political, artistic and literary figures of the day. Most were captivated by her wit, her voluptuous charm and above all her sensational beauty.
The present work was once owned by Edward Grosvenor Paine who formed an important collection of portrait miniatures.
The colours have remained very fresh and strong. There is some minor surface dirt and areas of spidery mould which, in our opinion, could be cleaned with relative easy. "In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."