Paul-Désiré Trouillebert

Portrait Of A Young Lady

Paul-Désiré Trouillebert

Portrait Of A Young Lady

A sublime 19th-century portrait of a young lady by French artist, Paul-Désiré Trouillebert (1829-1900).

How do you read her expression?

Her heavy eyes suggest sorrow yet I see something different. For me, there’s a suggestion of hope and a curiosity of what may become. Behind the gaze, a flicker of excitement - a glimmer of a brighter future.

I also particularly love the dots of white on her left earring, which capture a reflection.

Trouillebert was one of the better-known landscape painters of the 19th-century but his portraits were equally delightful. He was a student of Ernest Hébert (1817-1908) and Charles Jalabert (1819-1901) who both worked in a polished academic style. As a result, his early approach was broadly the same, which led to several appearances at the illustrious Paris Salon.

But during the 1860s, his style began to change as he embraced a new zest for expression. His landscapes became lyrical, fluid and evocative. This gradual evolution also seemed to affect his portraiture, which featured a greater emphasis on emotion.

The portrait is signed/dated in the top left and housed within a later frame. The reverse contains a certificate from Claude Marumo the co-author of the catalogue raisonné.

Medium: Oil on canvas
Overall size: 21” x 28” / 54cm x 71cm
Year of creation: 1869
Provenance: France
Condition: Overall very presentable. One or two small scratches and some light craquelure but the paint layer is stable. Frame with some light age-related wear.
Artist’s auction highlight: £35,425 achieved for ‘The Snake Charmer’ at Christie’s in 2004. While for portraits, in 2019, ‘Jeune femme en bleu’ reached £11,384.

Conservation & History

We care profoundly about our role as custodians and every piece in the collection has been assessed by our conservator. When required, we undertake professional restoration carefully using reversible techniques and adopt a light touch to retain the aged charm of each work. We also restore frames rather than replace them as many are original and selected by the artists themselves.

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