View full screen - View 1 of Lot 65. Portrait of the Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814), bust-length, wearing a white muslin dress.
65

Firmin Massot

Portrait of the Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814), bust-length, wearing a white muslin dress

Estimate:

10,000

to
- 15,000 GBP

Firmin Massot

Firmin Massot

Portrait of the Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814), bust-length, wearing a white muslin dress

Portrait of the Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814), bust-length, wearing a white muslin dress

Estimate:

10,000

to
- 15,000 GBP

Lot sold:

60,480

GBP

Firmin Massot

Geneva 1766 - 1849

Portrait of the Empress Josephine of France (1763-1814), bust-length, wearing a white muslin dress


oil on canvas, framed as an oval

unframed: 31.4 x 27.3 cm.; 12 3/8 x 10 3/4 in.

framed: 43.5 x 42.7 cm.; 17 1/4 x 16 7/8 in.

The canvas is lined, the paint surface is clean and the varnish is clear and even. The network of craquelure has become quite distinct, and there is a superficial surface scratch which runs in a curve in the left-hand side of the background. Inspection under ultraviolet light reveals a couple of very small spots of retouching in the background beside both the sitter's arms. Most of the background also fluoresces, as do the flesh tones and face of the sitter, but these do not appear to be retouchings - rather, it is probably the pigment employed. The painting is in overall good condition and presents well in its current state. 


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colors and shades which are different to the lot's actual color and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation. The condition report is a statement of opinion only. For that reason, the condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ONLINE CONDITION REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE/BUSINESS APPLICABLE TO THE RESPECTIVE SALE.

The Comtes de Sellon, Château d'Allaman, Switzerland;
Leopold Maurice, Geneva (according to a label in the reverse);
Anonymous sale ('The Property of a Lady'), London, Sotheby’s, 9 December 2004, lot 215;
Anonymous sale, Geneva, Piguet Hotel des Ventes, 12 March 2008, lot 1196, where acquired.

Empress Josephine (née Josephine Tascher de la Pagerie) was crowned Empress by Napoleon in the Cathedral Notre-Dame on 2 December 1804. She married twice, firstly Alexandre Vicomte de Beauharnais in 1779, who she lost to the guillotine during the terror in 1794, and secondly to the then General Napoleon Bonaparte in 1796, though persistent rumours of her infidelity plagued the marriage. This is one of many versions of Massot's most prestigious portrait commission, dating from 1812 onward. Another version can be found at the Musée National des chateaux de Malmaison et de Bois-Preau (inv. no. MM. 2003, 15.1).1


https://en.musees-nationaux-malmaison.fr/phototheque/oeuvres/firmin-massot_portrait-de-l-imperatrice-josephine_huile-sur-toile_1812