Madame Charles Maurice de Talleyrand Périgord (1761–1835)

Artist: baron François Gérard (French, Rome 1770–1837 Paris)

Date: ca. 1804

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 88 7/8 x 64 7/8 in. (225.7 x 164.8 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Wrightsman Fund, 2002

Accession Number: 2002.31

Description

Gérard, a student of David, was first painter to the empress Joséphine while the sitter, born Catherine Verlée, was one of the celebrated beauties of her time. She seduced her first husband, George Francis Grand, in one of a series of liaisons that culminated in her becoming the wife of the statesman Talleyrand. However by the time this portrait was painted, about 1805, he had tired of her frivolity, and the couple had separated. Thus the picture is not a pendant to either of the portraits of Talleyrand (by Gérard and by Prud’hon) that hang nearby.

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