Portrait of the Week – Madame Nicaise Perrin

19 June 2013

Madame Nicaise Perrin, JC Nicaise Perrin, c1790. Photo: Musée des Beaux Arts, Valenciennes.

This week’s portrait of the week is a personal favourite of mine – who can resist this astonishing and beautiful portrait by Jean Charles Nicaise Perrin of his wife, Catherine Deleuze, which was probably painted in the early 1790s. It can be seen at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Valenciennes.

Madame Nicaise Perrin, JC Nicaise Perrin, c1790. Photo: Musée des Beaux Arts, Valenciennes.

I love Madame Nicaise Perrin’s magnificently sulky yet somewhat troubled expression (it’s almost as if she has just been crying, isn’t it?) and the enormous pearls that swing from her ears. Nicaise Perrin isn’t the best known artist of his generation (although he was a contemporary of the more famous David and trained under Doyen) but judging by his petulant young wife’s lavish outfit he was clearly doing well for himself.

Madame Nicaise Perrin, JC Nicaise Perrin, c1790. Photo: Musée des Beaux Arts, Valenciennes.

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