Madame Auguste Cuoq (Mathilde Desportes, 1827–1910), ca. 1852–57
Gustave Courbet (French, 1819–1877)
Oil on canvas; 69 1/2 x 42 1/2 in. (176.5 x 108 cm)
H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929 (29.100.130)
Little is known about this sitter, Mathilde Desportes (1827–1910), who was portrayed by a number of artists, including Jean-Jacques Henner (1829–1905). Auguste Cuoq found most of the portraits of his wife unacceptable; this one was among those he rejected. The painting, which remained unfinished in the artist's studio for years, was finally completed by 1867, when it was shown in Paris at Courbet's second solo exhibition.