Private North American collection; By whom anonymously sold ("Property of a North American Private Collector"), New York, Christie's, 2 November 2000, lot 238; There acquired.
This impeccably-preserved, unlined canvas is remarkable in that the painted signature of Largilliere can still be seen on the reverse of the canvas. It most probably depicts Marie-Adélaïde de Savoie, who became duchesse de Bourgogne when she married Louis, Dauphin of France and duc de Bourgogne, as part of the Treaty of Turin in 1696. She was the mother of the future King Louis XV of France.
The canvas is unlined and in stable condition. The paint layer and colors remain vibrant and thick, particularly in the sitter's richly decorated costume, where thick impasto has been applied in the detail and remains vivid and dimensional today. An area of retouching in the dark background on the right is visible under ultra violet light, likely addressing a craqueleure pattern. An older restoration campaign is also visible under ultraviolet light, with some possible retouching in the shadow of her left eyebrow and along the bridge of her nose. These are not visible to the naked eye nor are they distracting in any way. The costume and other areas of the face remain in pristine and impressive condition. The painting is offered in a carved, oval giltwood frame and can hang as is. 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. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.