Reserved - Louis Joseph Pottin, Portrait Of A Lady In A Red & Black Dress

Reserved - Louis Joseph Pottin, Portrait Of A Lady In A Red & Black Dress

A fine late-19th-century portrait of a fashionable society beauty by French artist, Louis Joseph Pottin (1849-1930). She’s wearing a sumptuous black and red dress with gigot sleeves and holding a pair of brown silk gloves in her right hand.

She sits with confidence and draws attention to the rich red velvet and white embroidery of her outfit. She’s every inch a society lady and lived during such an exciting time for fashion.

It’s believed that she could be Marguerite Stern (née Fould), the wife of successful Parisian businessman, Edgard Stern. The Fould family is of French Jewish descent and known for its success in banking.

Louis Joseph Pottin was an artist surrounded by talented portraitists who were no doubt in high demand. He was trained by the great Carolus Duran (1837-1917) who also taught John Singer Sargent (1856-1925). Duran encouraged his students to draw and paint simultaneously using a modified brush, which was a radical approach at the time.

As a sign of respect, Sargent produced a stylish portrait of his teacher in 1879 - a work which is currently in the Met, New York.

This portrait is signed in the upper left and it’s a beautiful museum quality piece which would grace any wall.

Oil on canvas
Overall size
28” x 36½” / 73cm x 93cm
Year of creation
c. 1890
Provenance France
One professional patched repair but generally very good. Examination under UV shows a few small areas of restoration but nothing major. It’s been treasured.
Artist’s auction highlight
£2,485 achieved for ‘Autoportrait de l'Artiste dans son atelier’ (78cm x 98cm) in 1999.

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