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.

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