Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707, oil on canvas, 54 7/16 x 41 1/16 in. (138.3 x 104.3 cm), Purchase: acquired through the generosity of Mary Runnells, F77-14
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Double portrait of the same woman: on the left, she is in profile facing to the viewer's right; on the right, she is in three-quarters view looking to the viewer's left. She wears the same black dress over a white blouse and a cloth covering her dark hair. The background is a dark and cloudy sky with trees to the left and a column on the right.
Fig. 1. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portraits of Maria Serra (1638–1721), the Artist’s Mother, 1695, oil on canvas, 32 5/8 x 40 1/2 in. (83 x 103 cm), Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. 7522; MR 2402. Photo: Jean-Gilles Berizzi. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
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A full-length portrait of a man, standing with a golden scepter in his right hand, and his left hand on his hip. He wears a long blue cape with a gold fleur-de-lis pattern that is lined with white ermine fur which drapes over his left shoulder. The man has long curly black hair which reaches past his shoulders. He has a golden sword attached to his left hip and wears tight white stockings and white shoes with red heels. Hanging from the ceiling above him is a large red cloth tied with gold tassels. A footstool upholstered in the blue fleur-de-lis fabric supports a gold and blue crown, and behind him is a golden throne, also upholstered in the blue fleur-d-lis fabric.
Fig. 2. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV (1638–1715), 1701, oil on canvas, 109 × 76 5/16 in. (277 × 194 cm), Musée du Louvre, Paris, no. 7492. Photo: Stéphane Maréchalle. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
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A light-skinned, dark-haired woman, painted from the knees up, stands leaning on her bent left arm against a stone ledge. She wears a white dress with a yellow sash and a red cloak lined in blue. Along her left shoulder is a brown and black-spotted animal pelt pinned with a jewelled clasp. She plucks a long stem off a white-flowered plant.
Fig. 3. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Madame Desjardins, née Marie Cadesne (or Cadenne, d. 1716), 1684, oil on canvas, 54 3/4 x 42 15/16 in. (139 x 109 cm), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen, inv. no. 20. Photo: Bridgeman Images
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A pale-skinned woman wearing a light blue dress and a blue cloak lined in yellow. She holds a spray of white flowers in her hands, which rest in her lap. Behind her is a dark-skinned figure tending to a pot full of flowers. They wear a red shirt and pants and are looking off to the viewer's right. In the background is a dark sky with rising smoke.
Fig. 4. Hyacinthe Rigaud, with the collaboration of Joseph Parrocel (background) and Pierre Nicolas Huilliot (bouquet of flowers), Portrait of Marguerite Françoise Colbert (née Béraud, 1642–1719), marquise de Croissy, 1697, oil on canvas, 53 1/8 x 41 1/8 in. (135 x 104.5 cm), private collection, Château des Essarts, Vendée; repro. in Ariane James-Sarazin, Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1659–1743: L’Homme et Son Art (Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2016), 1:120
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Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707

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doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328

ArtistHyacinthe Rigaud, French, 1659–1743
TitlePortrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac
Object Date1706–1707
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions (Unframed)54 7/16 x 41 1/16 in. (138.3 x 104.3 cm)
InscriptionInscribed on verso of original canvas (not in artist’s hand) with artist’s and sitter’s names
Credit LineThe Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Purchase: acquired through the generosity of Mary Runnells, F77-14
Catalogue Entry

curatorial

Citation

Chicago:

Joseph Baillio, “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” catalogue entry in French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ed. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023), https://doi.org/10.37764/78973.5.328.5407.

MLA:

Baillio, Joseph. “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” catalogue entry. French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, edited by Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023. doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328.5407.

The painter and draftsman Jacint Francesc Honori Maties Pere Andreu Joan Rigau Ros i Serra, better known by his gallicized name Hyacinthe Rigaud, was born on July 18, 1659, at Perpignan in the principality of Catalonia. The region to which the town belonged was annexed to France as part of the province of Roussillon following the Treaty of the PyreneesTreaty of the Pyrenees: Signed in 1659, the treaty ended the hostilities between France and Spain and the Thirty Years’ War. It was sealed by the marriage of Louis XIV of France and Marie‐Thérèse, daughter of Philip IV of Spain., shortly after the artist’s birth. He was the son of a tailor Maties Rigau Ros (d. 1669) and his wife Maria Serra (1638–1721). Until Maria’s death, her son remained close to her, and the depth of his affection for her is expressed in the two sensitive and characterful portraits of her, in one of which she is seen facing front (1695; Château de Fontaine-Henry, Thaon, France) and in the other from two angles (Fig. 1). These works were used by the sculptor Antoine Coysevox (1640–1720) in 1706 when he carved in marble a bust of the lady for his friend Rigaud (Musée du Louvre).

Fig. 1. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portraits of Maria Serra (1638–1721), the Artist’s Mother, 1695, oil on canvas, 32 5/8 x 40 1/2 in. (83 x 103 cm), Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. 7522; MR 2402. Photo: Jean-Gilles Berizzi. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
Fig. 1. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portraits of Maria Serra (1638–1721), the Artist’s Mother, 1695, oil on canvas, 32 5/8 x 40 1/2 in. (83 x 103 cm), Musée du Louvre, Paris, inv. 7522; MR 2402. Photo: Jean-Gilles Berizzi. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
Perpignan’s geographical location in Roussillon and its history meant that Rigaud’s native language and culture were Catalan. However, he probably mastered French at an early age and must have spoken it with an accent that was exacerbated by a stutter that was not debilitating enough to handicap him during his long and very successful career as a court and society portraitist. Judging by his numerous self-portraits, Rigaud was a handsome man, with thoughtful brown eyes, a firm mouth and a cleft chin. Around 1671, he moved to Montpellier in Languedoc, and there, over a period of years, he was trained as a painter in the studios of Paul Pezet (1622–1707) and Antoine Ranc (1634–1716), who is said to have introduced his pupil to works by the great Flemish portraitist and history painter Sir Anthony Van Dyck (1599–1641). In 1681, after a sojourn of several years in the prosperous metropolis of Lyon, where he familiarized himself with paintings by Dutch and Flemish painters such as Rembrandt van Rijn (1606–1669) and Peter Paul Rubens (1577–1640), he settled permanently in Paris. Three years later, he gained associate membership (the agrément) in the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture (Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture)Salon, the: Exhibitions organized by the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture (Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture) and its successor the Academy of Fine Arts (Académie des Beaux Arts), which took place in Paris from 1667 onwards. with the backing of Louis XIV’s chief painter Charles Le Brun (1619–1690) who convinced him, despite his considerable talent as a history painter, to devote himself to portraiture, a lucrative genre that he eventually revolutionized. Rigaud’s goal was to equal and even surpass the principal exponents of the genre, the older François de Troy (1645–1730) and a near contemporary, Nicolas de Largillierre (1656–1746). In 1688 and 1689, Rigaud painted likenesses of the king’s brother and nephew, the Duc d’Orléans (now lost) and the latter’s son, the Duc de Chartres, the future Regent (finest version in the Musée des Beaux-Arts Hyacinthe-Rigaud, Perpignan). In 1700, upon the presentation of his imposing and quite dramatic portrait of the sculptor Martin Desjardins (1692; Musée du Louvre, Paris) as his diploma piece, he was admitted with full honors to the Académie as a history painter.1His official reception piece, a larger-than-life depiction of St. Andrew leaning on the cross of his martyrdom (Musée du Louvre, deposited in 1872 in the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, MRA103), although painted the year of his induction, was only presented by Rigaud to the Académie in 1742, a year prior to his death.

Many prestigious commissions, including several for portraits of Louis XIV, the Sun King himself, were followed in 1701 by a life-size full-length depiction of the old autocrat wearing his coronation robes and surrounded by the regalia he received on the occasion of his investiture at Reims in 1654 (Fig. 2). This impressive effigy is the work for which Rigaud is the best known. In future, most full-length European portraiture of kings and emperors would be patterned on this quintessential icon of rule by absolute, divine right monarchy, including Rigaud’s own portraits of the king’s great-grandson and successor, Louis XV (painted in 1715, 1721, and 1730).

Fig. 2. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV (1638–1715), 1701, oil on canvas, 109 × 76 5/16 in. (277 × 194 cm), Musée du Louvre, Paris, no. 7492. Photo: Stéphane Maréchalle. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
Fig. 2. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Louis XIV (1638–1715), 1701, oil on canvas, 109 × 76 5/16 in. (277 × 194 cm), Musée du Louvre, Paris, no. 7492. Photo: Stéphane Maréchalle. © RMN-Grand Palais / Art Resource, NY
Rigaud was capable of painting relatively intimate likenesses of members of his family, friends, and fellow artists; he achieved fame as a Grand MannerGrand Manner: An artistic style, popular in seventeenth and eighteenth-century England and France, that incorporated the influences of ancient Greek and Roman (classical) art, Italian Renaissance painters (such as Raphael, 1483–1520), and seventeenth-century Flemish portraitists (like Sir Anthony Van Dyck, 1599–1641, and Peter Paul Rubens, 1577–1640) to create an idealized rather than realistic approach to history painting and portraiture. painter of bravura and formal portraits (portraits d’apparat) in the more or less flamboyant style of the aforementioned Van Dyck. In the age of the High Baroque, in order to capture the splendor and pageantry of life in the uppermost echelons of French courtly, religious, civil, judicial, and military society as well as in diplomatic circles, he made lavish use of palatial and landscape settings; strong chiaroscurochiaroscuro: Italian for “light-dark.” A technique used in two-dimensional art to add high contrast between lighted and shadowed areas and to emphasize their three dimensionality. effects; elegant, theatrically staged poses; and richly colored costumes and accessories. All of these components are carefully orchestrated to set off the proud faces of his patrons, which he was capable of painting with considerable psychological penetration. Especially successful court portraits by Rigaud include one he painted in 1702 of the Marquis de Dangeau wearing the opulent robes of a nobiliary order (Musée national du Château de Versailles) and the playful image he produced in 1738 of his Provençal friend and correspondent, Gaspard de Guéidan, whom he represented in a pastoral landscape holding a small bagpipe called a musette de cour (Musée Granet, Aix-en-Provence), a work in which the painter surpassed himself in the virtuosic handling of the rich fabrics. He was also a consummate painter of women, and his masterpieces include not only the previously mentioned portrait of his mother but also those of the young, elegant, and relatively soberly attired wife of the sculptor Desjardins, née Marie Cadesne (Fig. 3); the haughty old Duchesse de Nemours, née Marie d’Orléans-Longueville (1705; Musée cantonal des Beaux-Arts, Lausanne);2See Stéphan Perreau, “Les portraits féminins de Hyacinthe Rigaud,” L’Estampille/ L’Objet d’art, no. 399 (2005): 44–51. and the obese and authoritarian Duchesse d’Orléans, called “Madame Palatine” (1713; Deutsches Historisches Museum, Berlin).

Fig. 3. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Madame Desjardins, née Marie Cadesne (or Cadenne, d. 1716), 1684, oil on canvas, 54 3/4 x 42 15/16 in. (139 x 109 cm), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen, inv. no. 20. Photo: Bridgeman Images
Fig. 3. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Madame Desjardins, née Marie Cadesne (or Cadenne, d. 1716), 1684, oil on canvas, 54 3/4 x 42 15/16 in. (139 x 109 cm), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Caen, inv. no. 20. Photo: Bridgeman Images
The artist kept two sitters’ books or Livres de raison (now preserved in the library of the Institut de France, Paris), which account for a good proportion of his considerable output of original portraits and studio replicas or copies. These valuable historical documents reveal the extent to which he called on various specialists in the execution of his portraits: François Desportes (1661–1743) and Joseph Parrocel (1646–1704) for landscape and battle scene backdrops; Pierre Nicolas Huilliot (1674–1751), Jean Baptiste Belin [Blin] de Fontenay (1653–1715) and Antoine Monnoyer (1670–1747) for flower pieces; and a considerable number of drapery painters. Concerning his original works as distinct from studio replicas and copies, the painting of faces and hands was often his own province. A significant percentage of his large output was engraved by the likes of Gérard Edelinck (Flemish, 1640–1707), Gaspard Duchange (1662–1757), and especially Pierre Drevet (1663–1738), whose portrait by Rigaud is in the Musée de Lyon.

In 1703, at the height of his fame, Rigaud married his first wife, Marie Catherine Chastillon, a union that was annulled seven months later, and in 1710 he wed his second spouse, Élisabeth de Gouy, the widow of Jean Le Juge, a bailiff in the royal Grand Council of Justice. Neither marriage produced offspring. In 1727, Louis XV made him a knight of the Order of Saint-Michel, which was reserved for writers, painters, and magistrates, and in 1733 he was appointed Rector of the Académie. After a long and prosperous career, the octogenarian and quite wealthy Hyacinthe Rigaud died on December 29, 1743, in the spacious apartment he had leased in a townhouse at the corner of the rue Louis-le-Grand and the rue Neuve-des-Petits-Champs near the Place des Victoires.

The subject of the Nelson-Atkins portrait, the Marquise de Bonnac, née Esther de Jaussaud (1654–1750), was born in or near the town of Castres into the Huguenot nobility of the southwestern provinces of France.3See provenance footnote 1 in this entry. She was the daughter of Claude de Jaussaud, Baron de Tarabel (ca. 1615–1673),4Alternative spellings are Jaussaud and Taravel. and his second wife, Isabeau de Juge (1631–1690), the daughter of Paul de Juge, Seigneur de Brassac, and Jeanne Thomas de La Barthe. On June 20, 1672, Esther de Jaussaud married Salomon d’Usson (1638–1698), a coreligionist in Pamiers, whose ancestors had been attached to the HuguenotHuguenots: A name for French Protestants in the 1500s to 1700s. France had been a mostly Catholic country until French Protestants emerged around 1517, and this led to a series of civil wars from 1562 to 1598, called the Wars of Religion. In 1598, the former-Protestant king, Henry IV, issued the Edict of Nantes to offer religious equality and tolerance to the Huguenots. Many years later, Henry’s grandson Louis XIV felt his absolute monarchy was threatened by the Huguenots’ growing religious minority, and in 1685 he revoked the Edict of Nantes. Protestants faced increased persecution, deportation, or massacres, and about 200,000 fled France to settle in non-Catholic Europe. See also Protestant Reformation. kingdom of Navarre. In 1683, Salomon’s estate of Bonnac was elevated to the status of a marquisate. This Lieutenant des maréchaux de France (Lieutenant of the Marshals of France) in the county and province of Foix (received in 1694) was also made the head of the guard assigned to the coast of Languedoc. The d’Usson family is known to have associated with such free-thinking philosophes and political theorists as Pierre Bayle.5See Bayle’s correspondence with the d’Usson family in Oeuvres diverses de Mr Pierre Bayle, professeur en philosophie, en histoire, à Rotterdam, vol. I (The Hague: P. Husson, T. Johnson, P. Gosse, J. Swart, H. Scheurleer, J. Van Duren, R. Alberts, C. Le Vier, et F. Boucquet, 1737). Salomon and Esther, who had both abjured their faith in favor of Roman Catholicism after Louis XIV revoked the Edict of NantesHuguenots: A name for French Protestants in the 1500s to 1700s. France had been a mostly Catholic country until French Protestants emerged around 1517, and this led to a series of civil wars from 1562 to 1598, called the Wars of Religion. In 1598, the former-Protestant king, Henry IV, issued the Edict of Nantes to offer religious equality and tolerance to the Huguenots. Many years later, Henry’s grandson Louis XIV felt his absolute monarchy was threatened by the Huguenots’ growing religious minority, and in 1685 he revoked the Edict of Nantes. Protestants faced increased persecution, deportation, or massacres, and about 200,000 fled France to settle in non-Catholic Europe. See also Protestant Reformation. that had deprived Protestants of their rights as French citizens, also had a number of children, notable among them Claude François d’Usson de Bonnac (b. 1673), an aide de camp in the French royal army as of 1690 who later entered the religious life, and Jean Louis d’Usson, the second Marquis de Bonnac (1674–1738).6A former musketeer and dragoon, Jean Louis entered the diplomatic corps in which his uncle François d’Usson de Bonrepaux had made a name for himself and eventually took up ambassadorial posts in Sweden (1701), Poland (1707), Spain (1711), the Ottoman Empire (1713), and Switzerland (1727–36), and in the process was inducted into a number of knightly orders. In 1715, he married Madeleine Françoise de Gontaut-Biron (1692-1739). While he was the French emissary to Turkey, one of Bonnac’s primary goals was to ensure that Franco-Ottoman alliance against the Habsburg leaders of the Austrian empire was in full force. He commemorated his mission in his Mémoire historique sur l’Ambassade de France à Constantinople (published in Paris by E. Leroux, 1894). It was in all likelihood the latter who commissioned Rigaud to paint the portrait of the Marquise de Bonnac.

Rigaud has depicted his fifty-two-year-old female subject set against a brooding sky, richly clad in a tightly corseted gown of a lustrous plum-colored velvety fabric edged with silver stitching with open-flared sleeves closed mid-arm with a brooch. The bouffant sleeves of her white silk underdress end in lace cuffs, and the frilly lace edge of the garment extends from the plunging neckline, providing modest coverage. Moreover, she is cloaked loosely in a blue velvet mantle edged with gold embroidery and lined with gold brocade. The sitter’s body is turned slightly to the right, whereas her head faces the artist, whom she looks at with her heavy-lidded, dark grayish-blue eyes under faint, probably plucked, eyebrows. Her nose is somewhat flared at the nostrils, and her rouged lips are raised in a discreet smile. The marquise’s black hair, which is graying at the temples, is piled high with two curls arranged on either side of her forehead in a style known as à la Fontange. This hairdo is topped by a transparent veil fluttering in the breeze. She is seated on a stone bench in front of a pillar around which swirls a piece of deep red drapery. At lower left are the red and green leaves of an ornamental plant (perhaps a coleus), while she holds orange blossoms in her hand.7This fragrant white flower was the height of fashion during the later reign of Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715), as evidenced by the completion of his orangery at Versailles in 1686 under the direction of the architect Jules Hardouin Mansart (1648–1708). See James A. Wearn and David J. Mabberley, “Citrus and Orangeries in Northern Europe,” Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 33, no. 1 (February 2016): 99. I am grateful to the Nelson-Atkins project assistant Glynnis Napier Stevenson for sharing this insight.

Fig. 4. Hyacinthe Rigaud, with the collaboration of Joseph Parrocel (background) and Pierre Nicolas Huilliot (bouquet of flowers), Portrait of Marguerite Françoise Colbert (née Béraud, 1642–1719), marquise de Croissy, 1697, oil on canvas, 53 1/8 x 41 1/8 in. (135 x 104.5 cm), private collection, Château des Essarts, Vendée; repro. in Ariane James-Sarazin, Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1659–1743: L’Homme et Son Art (Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2016), 1:120
Fig. 4. Hyacinthe Rigaud, with the collaboration of Joseph Parrocel (background) and Pierre Nicolas Huilliot (bouquet of flowers), Portrait of Marguerite Françoise Colbert (née Béraud, 1642–1719), marquise de Croissy, 1697, oil on canvas, 53 1/8 x 41 1/8 in. (135 x 104.5 cm), private collection, Château des Essarts, Vendée; repro. in Ariane James-Sarazin, Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1659–1743: L’Homme et Son Art (Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2016), 1:120
As Rigaud was in high demand, he created portrait formulae both for men and for women subjects, a practice perfected by Van Dyck. The formula adopted by Rigaud in this instance harks back to his earlier likeness of the Marquise de Croissy, née Françoise Béraud (Fig. 4),8The Nelson-Atkins painting is also related to a drawing of an unknown woman: Rigaud, with the collaboration of Charles Viennot, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, after 1699, black crayon and white highlights on blue paper, 14 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (37.5 x 28.9 cm),  Jeffrey E. Horvitz collection, Boston, inv. D-F-260/1.1993.152. who was the wife of Charles Colbert “de Croissy,” a younger brother of Louis XIV’s powerful finance minister Jean-Baptiste Colbert. The portrait had been commissioned in 1696. To satisfy his ever-expanding clientele, the artist also used the services of a number of assistants, either to sketch the general outlines of the composition onto canvas or to paint specific details of a composition, such as attendants, costumes, accessories, furniture, and indoor and outdoor settings.9See Stéphan Perreau’s entry on the (now lost) painting of Edmée d’Hozier (née Terrier, 1655–1733), in Perreau, Catalogue Raisonné des Oeuvres de Hyacinthe Rigaud (2016): http://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.com/catalogue-raisonne-hyacinthe-rigaud/portraits/1685-terrier-edmee, where he suggests that Esther d’Usson, Marquise de Bonnac, asked the artist to use the same format as that used in d’Hozier’s portrait, which she would have seen from sketches kept in Rigaud’s studio. In the Livre de raison, the practitioner assigned the task of laying out the design and sketching Madame d’Usson de Bonnac’s costume onto the canvas to B. Montmorency, a drapery painter who was active in the artist’s studio between 1706 and 1708.10Hyacinthe Rigaud, Livres de raison, Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France, Paris, from the collection of the magistrate and bibliophile Antoine Moriau (1699–1759) and the Bibliothèque de la Ville de Paris: Ms. 624 (Mémoire, par année, des portraits ou copies exécutées par Rigaud ou par ses soins, avec prix en regard [1681–1743]), fol. 26, as “Made La marquise d’Usson de Bonnac, 500 lt” [livres tournois]; and Ms. 625 (Mémoire, par année, des copies que fit exécuter Rigaud, avec indication des artistes employés et de leurs honoraires [1694–1725]), fol. 21 (1706 Monmorency, as “Ebauché l’habit du portrait de la mère de mr de Bonnac, 8 lt”). Rigaud scholars Ariane James-Sarazin and Stéphan Perreau have identified this assistant as the Dutch painter Jan Baptista Monmorency (or “Montmorency,” act. 1706–at least 1744), a specialist in drapery who would ultimately establish a Rigaudesque portrait practice in The Netherlands. See Perreau, “Delaunay, Montmorency, Melingue, et Dupré,” Catalogue Raisonné des Œuvres de Hyacinthe Rigaud (December 16, 2017): https://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.com/atelier-hyacinthe-rigaud/delaunay-monmorency-melingue-et-dupre; and Ariane James-Sarazin, “Dans le sillage de Hyacinthe Rigaud: le portrait de Benoît De Ruddere par Monmorency,” Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743): L’homme et son art; Le catalogue raisonné (Editions Faton, October 9, 2017): http://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.fr/single-post/2017/10/09/Dans-le-sillage-de-Hyacinthe-Rigaud-le-portrait-de-Benoît-De-Ruddere-par-Monmorency It is possible that the large carved stone vase at the right and the profusion of colorful flowers it holds were the work of one of the two major flower painters working for him at the time, either Belin [Blin] de Fontenay or Monnoyer.

Joseph Baillio
July 2018

Notes

  1. His official reception piece, a larger-than-life depiction of St. Andrew leaning on the cross of his martyrdom (Musée du Louvre, deposited in 1872 in the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, Paris, MRA 103, although painted the year of his induction, was only presented by Rigaud to the Académie in 1742, a year prior to his death.

  2. See Stéphan Perreau, “Les portraits féminins de Hyacinthe Rigaud,” L’Estampille/ L’Objet d’art, no. 399 (2005): 44–51.

  3. See provenance footnote 1 in this entry.

  4. Alternative spellings are Jaussaud and Taravel.

  5. See Bayle’s correspondence with the d’Usson family in Oeuvres diverses de Mr Pierre Bayle, professeur en philosophie, en histoire, à Rotterdam, vol. I (The Hague: P. Husson, T. Johnson, P. Gosse, J. Swart, H. Scheurleer, J. Van Duren, R. Alberts, C. Le Vier, et F. Boucquet, 1737).

  6. A former musketeer and dragoon, Jean Louis entered the diplomatic corps in which his uncle François d’Usson de Bonrepaux had made a name for himself and eventually took up ambassadorial posts in Sweden (1701), Poland (1707), Spain (1711), the Ottoman Empire (1713), and Switzerland (1727–36), and in the process was inducted into a number of knightly orders. In 1715, he married Madeleine Françoise de Gontaut-Biron (1692-1739). While he was the French emissary to Turkey, one of Bonnac’s primary goals was to ensure that Franco-Ottoman alliance against the Habsburg leaders of the Austrian empire was in full force. He commemorated his mission in his Mémoire historique sur l’Ambassade de France à Constantinople (published in Paris by E. Leroux, 1894).

  7. This fragrant white flower was the height of fashion during the later reign of Louis XIV (r. 1643–1715), as evidenced by the completion of his orangery at Versailles in 1686 under the direction of the architect Jules Hardouin Mansart (1648–1708). See James A. Wearn and David J. Mabberley, “Citrus and Orangeries in Northern Europe,” Curtis’s Botanical Magazine 33, no. 1 (February 2016): 99. I am grateful to the Nelson-Atkins project assistant Glynnis Napier Stevenson for sharing this insight.

  8. The Nelson-Atkins painting is also related to a drawing of an unknown woman: Rigaud, with the collaboration of Charles Viennot, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, after 1699, black crayon and white highlights on blue paper, 14 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (37.5 x 28.9 cm),  Jeffrey E. Horvitz collection, Boston, inv. D-F-260/1.1993.152.

  9. See Stéphan Perreau’s entry on the (now lost) painting of Edmée d’Hozier (née Terrier, 1655–1733), in Perreau, Catalogue Raisonné des Oeuvres de Hyacinthe Rigaud (2016): http://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.com/catalogue-raisonne-hyacinthe-rigaud/portraits/1685-terrier-edmee, where he suggests that Esther d’Usson, Marquise de Bonnac, asked the artist to use the same format as that used in d’Hozier’s portrait, which she would have seen from sketches kept in Rigaud’s studio.

  10. Hyacinthe Rigaud, Livres de raison, Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France, Paris, from the collection of the magistrate and bibliophile Antoine Moriau (1699–1759) and the Bibliothèque de la Ville de Paris: Ms. 624 (Mémoire, par année, des portraits ou copies exécutées par Rigaud ou par ses soins, avec prix en regard [1681–1743]), fol. 26, as “Made La marquise d’Usson de Bonnac, 500 lt” [livres tournois]; and Ms. 625 (Mémoire, par année, des copies que fit exécuter Rigaud, avec indication des artistes employés et de leurs honoraires [1694–1725]), fol. 21 (1706 Monmorency, as “Ebauché l’habit du portrait de la mère de mr de Bonnac, 8 lt”). Rigaud scholars Ariane James-Sarazin and Stéphan Perreau have identified this assistant as the Dutch painter Jan Baptista Monmorency (or “Montmorency,” act. 1706–at least 1744), a specialist in drapery who would ultimately establish a Rigaudesque portrait practice in The Netherlands. See Stéphan Perreau, “Delaunay, Montmorency, Melingue, et Dupré,” Catalogue Raisonné des Œuvres de Hyacinthe Rigaud (December 16, 2017): http://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.com/atelier-hyacinthe-rigaud/delaunay-monmorency-melingue-et-dupre; and Ariane James-Sarazin, “Dans le sillage de Hyacinthe Rigaud: le portrait de Benoît De Ruddere par Monmorency,” Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743): L’homme et son art; Le catalogue raisonné (Editions Faton, October 9, 2017): http:www.hyacinthe-rigaud.fr/single-post/2017/10/09/Dans-le-sillage-de-Hyacinthe-Rigaud-le-portrait-de-Benoît-De-Ruddere-par-Monmorency.

Technical Entry
Technical entry forthcoming.

Documentation
Citation

Chicago:

Glynnis Napier Stevenson, “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation in French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ed. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023), https://doi.org/10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

MLA:

Stevenson, Glynnis Napier. “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation. French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, edited by Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023. doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

Provenance

provenace

Citation

Chicago:

Glynnis Napier Stevenson, “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation in French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ed. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023), https://doi.org/10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

MLA:

Stevenson, Glynnis Napier. “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation. French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, edited by Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023. doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

In the possession of the sitter, Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel, 1654–1750), 1st Marquise de Bonnac, Château de Bonnac and Tarabel, France, 1707–1750 [1];

Paul Friedrich Meyerheim (1842–1915), Berlin, by 1896–September 14, 1915 [2];

Purchased at his posthumous sale, Nachlass Paul Meyerheim, Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, Berlin, March 14, 1916, lot 92, erroneously as by Alexandre Roslin, Weibliches Bildnis;

Purchased on the U.S. art market by an unknown private collector, ca. 1967 [3];

Purchased from the private collector, through Leonardo Lapiccirella, by Heim Gallery, London, stock no. 30/77, by November 1976 [4];

Purchased from Heim by The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, MO, 1977.

Notes

[1] The Marquise’s husband Salomon d’Usson de Bonnac, Marquis de Bonnac, died in 1698, and the following year she was briefly confined in an Ursuline convent at the insistence of her brother-in-law, Tristan Dusson de Laquère. But in 1702, the Marquise returned to Tarabel, where she had been born and raised. It was while she was living there that the portrait was painted in 1706–1707. It is plausible that she visited Paris for her portrait sitting. The painting may have been commissioned by her son, Jean Louis d’Usson, Marquis de Bonnac, with whom she lived, at rue de Grenelle in Paris from 1710 to 1739. After his death in 1738, she returned to Tarabel to live with her granddaughter, Constance Françoise Wignacourt, where she died in June 1750, at around 96 years of age. See “2 E 10982, Tarabel. 1 E 6 bis registre paroissial: BMS (collection communale), (1635-An V),” Departmental Archives, Haute-Garonne, Toulouse.

Inventories of the offspring of Salomon and Esther d’Usson, Marquis and Marquise de Bonnac, in the National Archives, Paris, do not cite the Nelson-Atkins painting in lists of family property. See T/1042/3, “Lettres, mémoires, comptes, contrats de mariage, papiers divers relatifs à la famille d’Usson depuis le Moyen-Âge et au marquis de Bonnac,” Archives Nationales, Paris. See correspondence between Glynnis Napier Stevenson, NAMA, and Lauranna Favasuli, doctoral researcher on the d’Usson de Bonnac family, and Myriam Daydé, specialist in medieval archaeology and history based in Toulouse, France, September 2022, NAMA curatorial files.

See Stéphan Perreau’s entry on the (now lost) painting of Edmée d’Hozier (née Terrier), in Perreau, Catalogue Raisonné des Oeuvres de Hyacinthe Rigaud (2016): http://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.com/catalogue-raisonne-hyacinthe-rigaud/portraits/1685-terrier-edmee, where he suggests that the Marquise de Bonnac asked the artist to use the same format as that used in d’Hozier’s portrait, which the former would have seen from sketches kept in Rigaud’s studio. See also Hyacinthe Rigaud, Livres de raison, Bibliothèque de l’Institut de France, Paris, from the collection of the magistrate and bibliophile Antoine Moriau (1699–1759) and the Bibliothèque de la Ville de Paris: Ms. 624 (Mémoire, par année, des portraits ou copies exécutées par Rigaud ou par ses soins, avec prix en regard [1681–1743]), fol. 26, as “Made La marquise d’Usson de Bonnac, 500 lt” [livres tournois]; and Ms. 625 (Mémoire, par année, des copies que fit exécuter Rigaud, avec indication des artistes employés et de leurs honoraires [1694–1725]), fol. 21 (1706 Monmorency, as “Ebauché l’habit du portrait de la mère de mr de Bonnac, 8 lt”).

[2] The painting appears in a photograph of Paul Meyerheim’s music room from 1896; see Hermann Rückwardt, Ausgeführte Architekturen in Berlin von Alfred Messel (Leipzig: Gross Lichterfelde, 1896), pl. 17.

[3] According to A. S. Ciechanowiecki, Heim Gallery, London, in a letter to Ross Taggart, April 19, 1977, NAMA curatorial files, the unknown private collector purchased the painting in the U.S. “about ten years ago,” then sold the painting indirectly to Heim on the Continental art market “quite recently.” In early 1978, the Kansas City Star reported that the painting was purchased from a Chicago collection, although that could be a reference to Mary Withers Runnells (1892–1977), who lived in Lake Forest, IL, and financially supported the purchase but never owned the painting. See Marietta Dunn, “Rigaud to Gallery,” Kansas City Star 98, no. 130 (January 29, 1978): 3E.

[4] The name “Lapiccirella” appears here: “July 28, 1977,” Heim Gallery Commission Book, 1970–1988, Heim Gallery Records, Series V.A, Financial, Stockbooks, Box 202, folder 6, Special Collections, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.

Related Works

related

Citation

Chicago:

Glynnis Napier Stevenson, “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation in French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ed. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023), https://doi.org/10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

MLA:

Stevenson, Glynnis Napier. “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation. French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, edited by Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023. doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

Studio of Hyacinthe Rigaud, Study for the Portrait of Louise-Marie du Bouchet de Sourches, comtesse de Lignières, 1696, 12 1/16 x 9 1/2 in. (30.6 x 24.2 cm), black and white chalk and black ink, with touches of white gouache, on blue antique laid paper, framing lines in black chalk, squared in black chalk, Harvard Art Museums, Cambridge, MA, 1979.65.

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Louise-Marie du Bouchet de Sourches (1665–1749), comtesse de Lignières, 1696, oil on oval canvas, 32 1/16 x 25 3/8 in. (81.5 x 64.5 cm.), Château de Parentignat, France.

Hyacinthe Rigaud, with the collaboration of Joseph Parrocel (background) and Pierre Nicolas Huilliot (bouquet of flowers), Portrait of Marguerite Françoise Colbert (née Béraud, 1642–1719), marquise de Croissy, 1697, oil on canvas, 53 1/8 x 41 1/8 in. (135 x 104.5 cm.), private collection, château d’Essarts, Vendée.

Hyacinthe Rigaud with the collaboration of Charles Viennot, Portrait of an Unknown Woman, after 1699, black crayon and white highlights on blue paper, 14 3/4 x 11 3/8 in. (37.5 x 28.9 cm.), Jeffrey E. Horvitz Collection, Boston, Inv. D-F-260/1.1993.152.

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Marie Madeleine Passerat (née Lemoine), 1699, oil on canvas, 36 x 29 in. (91.5 x 73.5 cm), private collection.

Hyacinthe Rigaud, Edmée d’Hozier (née Terrier, 1655–1733), 1699, oil on canvas, dimensions unknown, location unknown.

Preparatory Works
Citation

Chicago:

Glynnis Napier Stevenson, “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation in French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ed. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023), https://doi.org/10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

MLA:

Stevenson, Glynnis Napier. “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation. French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, edited by Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023. doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

Jan Baptista Monmorency, Study of the costume of the portrait of the mother of Mr. De Bonnac (Ébauche l’habit du portrait de la mère de m[onsieu]r de Bonnac), 1706, medium unknown, dimensions unknown, location unknown.

Exhibitions
Citation

Chicago:

Glynnis Napier Stevenson, “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation in French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ed. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023), https://doi.org/10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

MLA:

Stevenson, Glynnis Napier. “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation. French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, edited by Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023. doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

Old Master Paintings and Sculptures, Heim Gallery, London, November–December 1976, no cat.

References

references

Citation

Chicago:

Glynnis Napier Stevenson, “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation in French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, ed. Aimee Marcereau DeGalan (Kansas City: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023), https://doi.org/10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

MLA:

Stevenson, Glynnis Napier. “Hyacinthe Rigaud, Portrait of Esther d’Usson (née de Jaussaud or Jossaud, dame de Tarabel), Marquise de Bonnac, 1706–1707,” documentation. French Paintings and Pastels, 1600–1945: The Collections of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, edited by Aimee Marcereau DeGalan, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2023. doi: 10.37764/78973.5.328.4033.

Hermann Rückwardt, Ausgeführte Architekturen in Berlin von Alfred Messel: photographische Original-Aufnahmen nach der Natur; in Lichtdruck Herausgegeben von Hermann Rückwardt (Leipzig: Gross Lichterfelde, 1896), pl. 17, (repro).

Paul Eudel, Les Livres de comptes de Hyacinthe Rigaud (Paris: Librairie H. Le Soudier, 1910), 72, 170, as Mme La Marquise Dorson [sic] de Bonnac.

Nachlass Paul Meyerheim Berlin; 1. Abteilung: Der künstlerische Nachlass Des Meisters, Gemälde des 16.–18. Jahrhunderts; 5 Werke von A. v. Menzel und zahlreiche Arbeiten anderer Künstler des 19. Jahrhunderts; Versteigerung 14. und 15. März 1916 (Berlin: Rudolph Lepke’s Kunst-Auctions-Haus, March 14–15, 1916), 12, (repro.), erroneously as by Alexandre Roslin, Weibliches Bildnis.

“Kunstausstellungen Berlin: Sammlung Paul Meyerheim,” Kunst und Künstler 14 (1915–16): 416, erroneously as by A. Roslin, weibliches Bildnis.

“Der Kunstmarkt—Versteigerungen,” Der Cicerone, no. 5–6 (March 1916): 114.

“Berlin,” Der Kunstmarkt, no. 23 (March 3, 1916): 97–98, (repro.), erroneously as by Alexandre Roslin, Weibliches Bildnis.

“Nachlaß Paul Meyerheim, Berlin. I. Abteilung: Der künstlerische Nachlaß des Meisters. Gemälde des 16. bis 18. Jahrh. und Arbeiten anderer Künstler des 19. Jahrh. Versteigerung am 14. und 15. März 1916 bei Rudolph Lepke, Berlin,” Der Kunstmarkt, no. 27 (March 31, 1916): 114, erroneously as by Alex. Roslin, Weibliches Bildnis.

“Vom Kunstmarkt.,” Internationale Sammler-zeitung, no. 9 (May 1, 1916): 87, erroneously as by Alex. Roslin, Weibliches Bildnis.

J[oseph] Roman, Le Livre de Raison du peintre Hyacinthe Rigaud (Paris: Henri Laurens, 1919), 130, 132, as Made la marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

“Heim: Old Master Paintings and Sculptures advertisement,” Burlington Magazine 118, no. 885 (December 1976): lxi, (repro.), as Portrait of the Marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

Marietta Dunn, “Rigaud to Gallery,” Kansas City Star 98, no. 130 (January 29, 1978): 3E, (repro.), as Portrait of the Marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

Roger B. Ward, Dürer to Matisse: Master Drawings from the Nelson-Atkins, exh. cat. (Kansas City, MO: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 1996), 117, as Portrait of the Marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

Alvin L. Clark, Jr., ed., Mastery and Elegance: Two Centuries of French Drawings from the Collection of Jeffrey E. Horvitz, exh. cat. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Art Museums, 1998), 156, 365n5, (repro.), as Portrait of the Marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

Dominique Brême, “‘Personne n’a poussé plus que lui l’imitation de la nature,’” exh. cat., L’Estampille: L’Objet d’Art, special issue (2000): 42.

Neil Jeffares, “The Marquis de Bonnac: a suggested identification of a portrait by Louis Vigée,” British Journal for Eighteenth Century Studies 25 (2002): 49, 70n18.

Ariane James-Sarazin, “Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743)” (PhD diss., École Pratique des Hautes Etudes, 2003; Lille: Atelier national de reproduction des thèses, 2008), 2, pt. 3: no. 834, pp. 1315–16, (repro.), as Made la marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

Piero Boccardo, Clario Di Fabio, and Philippe Sénéchal, Genova e la Francia: Opera, artisti, committenti, collezionisti, exh. cat. (Milan: Silvana Editoriale, 2003), 218.

Sven Kuhrau, Der Kunstsammler im Kaiserreich: Kunst und Repräsentation in der Berliner Privatsammlerkultur (Kiel, Germany: Verlag Ludwig, 2005), 72, 281, (repro.), erroneously as by Alexander Roslin, weibliches Bildnis.

Stéphan Perreau, Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743): catalogue concis de l’œuvre (Sète, France: Nouvelles Presses de Languedoc, 2013), no. PC.973, p. 205, (repro.), as Portrait de Esther de Jaussaud, marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

Neil Jeffares, “Vigée, Le marquis de Bonnac,” Pastels and Pastellists (February 3, 2016): http://www.pastellists.com/Essays/Vigee_Bonnac.pdf#search=%22bonnac%22, 3, as Made la marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.

Neil Jeffares, “Usson de Bonnac,” Dictionary of Pastellists before 1800, Online edition, Iconographical genealogies (December 29, 2016): http://www.pastellists.com/Genealogies/Usson.pdf.

Ariane James-Sarazin, Hyacinthe Rigaud 1659–1743: L’homme et son art and Catalogue raisonné (Dijon: Éditions Faton, 2016), no. P.1005, pp. 1:474, (repro.); 2:170, 335, 608, (repro.), as Esther d’Usson de Bonnac, née de Jaussaud.

Stéphan Perreau, Catalogue raisonné des œuvres de Hyacinthe Rigaud (2016): http://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.com/catalogue-raisonne-hyacinthe-rigaud/portraits/1272-jaussaud-esther-de, no. PC.973, as Esther de Jaussaud, or as Madame d’Usson de Bonnac, and mentioned under nos. P.504, PC.625, and P.1217.

Ariane James-Sarazin, “Ni tout à fait la marquise de Croissy, ni tout à fait Mme d’Usson de Bonnac,” Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743): L’homme et son art; Le catalogue raisonné, online edition by Editions Faton (March 24, 2018): http://www.hyacinthe-rigaud.fr/single-post/2018/03/24/Ni-tout-a-fait-la-marquise-de-Croissy-ni-tout-a-fait-Mme-dUsson-de-Bonnac.

Kristie C. Wolferman, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: A History (Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 2020), 262–63, (repro.), as Portrait of the Marquise d’Usson de Bonnac.