Marie-Guillemine Benoist⁣⁣ Portrait of Madeleine (formerly

3/28/2021, 9:41:21 PM
Marie-Guillemine Benoist⁣⁣ Portrait of Madeleine (formerly known as Portrait of a Negress)⁣⁣ 1800⁣⁣ “The painting shows a young black woman seated in an armchair. Her body is oriented to her left, but she turns to face the viewer with a sober and self-possessed expression. The treatment of her face suggests this is a likeness of a particular individual. Most of her hair is covered in an elaborate white headwrap, and she wears a brilliant white garment that slips from her shoulders to reveal the warm dark skin of her right breast. The background is a plain beige field, but the trim on her chair suggests that she is sitting in a well-furnished interior. The only bright colors in this largely monochromatic work are the red of a ribbon holding the white cloth beneath her breasts and the blue of a shawl draped over the back of her chair.⁣⁣ Benoist did not provide her sitter’s name, but it was customary to protect sitters’ privacy by using titles such as “Portrait of a Lady” when exhibiting works at the Salon. In this case we know something of the woman’s status and background, if not her identity. Prior to the Revolution, slavery was not authorized on the French mainland. As early as the fourteenth century, King Louis X had decreed that “France signifies freedom” and that slaves setting foot on French soil should be freed. For this reason, when Thomas Jefferson was appointed ambassador to France from the new United States of America, the two slaves he brought with him—Sarah or “Sally” and James Hemings—were legally free while on French soil. Jefferson paid them a wage during their years in Paris, and when he prepared to return home, they renegotiated their status. Happily, recent scholarship has provided the sitter’s first name, Madeleine.”⁣⁣ #paintings #painting #artlovers #artists #famousart #artlegends #art #thearts #everythingart #arteverything #artislife #artislife e🎨 #dailyart #fineart #artoftheday #artstagram #artofinstagram #arthistorian #arthistorynerd #arthistory #historyofart #artlove e ⁣⁣ #marieguilleminebenoist #portraitofmadeleine #portraitofanegress #womeninart #blackwomeninart #thelouvre

Related posts