Overview

Madame Marguerite Bergeret was the wife and sister of two of the eighteenth century's most ardent art patrons. Her brother, the Abbé Jean Claude de Saint-Non traveled to Italy with Hubert Robert and Jean-Honoré Fragonard. Her husband, Jacques Onésime Bergeret, a wealthy financier, became a celebrated connoisseur and collector.

In the 1740s Boucher was establishing himself as a mature painter in Parisian art circles. In this portrait he defines the chic of that decade: Madame Bergeret is placed in a garden setting, dressed in a creamy silk gown, tight in the bodice with puffed sleeves highlighted with blue ribbons. Her face glows with youth and beauty depicted in translucent whites. The most important motif, and the charm of the composition, is the profusion of roses -- emerging from a bronze vase, decorating her sleeves and hair, and arranged across the bench and on the foreground plane. Sacred to Venus, the rose was a symbol well suited for a portrait of Bergeret's beloved wife.

Boucher's vast talents were quickly noticed by the King's new mistress Madame de Pompadour. Boucher became her favorite painter, and he produced several portraits of her, the most celebrated modeled on his earlier depiction of Madame Bergeret.

Inscription

center left in black paint, the "7" and "4" later additions over an original date that was possibly 1766: F. Boucher / 1746

Marks and Labels

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Provenance

Pierre Jacques Onésyme Bergeret de Grancourt [1715-1785], husband of the sitter, who was his first wife, Paris; by inheritance to their elder son, Pierre Jacques Bergeret de Grancourt [1742-1807], Cassan; by inheritance to his stepson (the son of his wife, Catherine Julie Xavier Poisson de la Chabeaussière, by her first marriage), Ange Philibert de la Girennerie, Cassan; by inheritance to his aunt (a sister of his mother), Barbe Françoise Victoire Poisson de la Chabeaussière Cotillon de Torcy; by inheritance to her daughter, Françoise Julie Cotillon de Torcy Le Bos de Sainte Croix; by inheritance to her daughter, Angélique Le Bos de Sainte Croix; by inheritance to her daughter, Angélique Le Bos de Sainte Croix, comtesse Fontaine de Resbecq; by inheritance to the Resbecq family; sold by 1920 to (Wildenstein & Co., Paris, New York, and London); sold 1942 to the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York;[1] gift 1946 to NGA.

Exhibition History

1946
Recent Additions to the Kress Collection, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1946, no. 768.
1973
François Boucher in North American Collections: One Hundred Drawings, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago, 1973-1974, unnumbered brochure for Washington venue (shown only in Washington).
1982
François Boucher, Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum; Kumamoto Prefectual Museum of Art, 1982, no. 41, color repro.
1986
François Boucher: 1703-1770, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Detroit Institute of Arts; Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, 1986-1987, no. 52, repro., as Portrait of Mme Bergeret (?).

Bibliography

1942
Wildenstein, George. François Boucher (1703-1770): Portrait of Mme. Bergeret. New York, [1942]: 1-4
1944
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds., Masterpieces of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. New York, 1944: 116, color repro.
1944
Frankfurter, Alfred M. The Kress Collection in the National Gallery. New York, 1944: 78, color repro. no. 81
1944
"Kress Makes Important Donation of French Painting to the Nation." Art Digest. vol. 18, no. 19 (1 August 1944): 5
1944
"One of the Greatest Donations of XVIIIth Century French Painting Ever Received by a Museum-The Kress Collection." The Illustrated London News, 115, no. 2992 (26 August 1944): 249, repro.
1944
"The Almanac: French Paintings Given to the National Gallery." The Magazine Antiques 46, no. 5 (November 1944): 288, repro.
1945
Paintings and Sculpture from the Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1945 (reprinted 1947, 1949): 164, repro.
1948
Wildenstein and Company. French XVIII Century Paintings. New York, 1948: 4
1956
Einstein, Lewis. "Looking at French Eighteenth Century Pictures in Washington." Gazette des Beaux Arts67, no. 1048-1049 (May-June 1956): 227-228, repro. 225.
1957
Shapley, Fern Rusk. Comparisons in Art: A Companion to the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC. London, 1957 (reprinted 1959): 34, pl. 95
1959
Paintings and Sculpture from the Samuel H. Kress Collection. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1959: 363, repro.
1960
The National Gallery of Art and Its Collections. Foreword by Perry B. Cott and notes by Otto Stelzer. National Gallery of Art, Washington (undated, 1960s): 6.
1961
Seymour 1961 (Kress), 185, color repro. no. 176
1961
Wildenstein, Georges. "Un amateur de Boucher et de Fragonard: Jacques-Onésyme Bergeret (1715-1785)." Gazette des Beaux-Arts. 6th ser., 58, no. 1110-1111 (July-August 1961): 40, 43, 46, 54, repro. 42
1963
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. New York, 1963 (reprinted 1964 in French, German, and Spanish): 317, repro.
1965
Cooke, H. Lester. Galeria Nacional de Washington. Translated by Maria Teresa de la Cruz. Madrid, 1965: 298, color repro. 71.
1965
Summary Catalogue of European Paintings and Sculpture. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1965: 18
1966
Cairns, Huntington, and John Walker, eds. A Pageant of Painting from the National Gallery of Art. 2 vols. New York, 1966: 2:312, color repro.
1968
European Paintings and Sculpture, Illustrations. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1968: 10, repro.
1971
Slatkin, Regina Shoolman. "Portraits of François Boucher." Apollo 94, n.s. no. 116 (October 1971): 286
1975
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1975: 336, no. 449, color repro.
1976
Ananoff, Alexandre. "François Boucher et l'Amérique." L'Oeil 251 (June 1976): 23.
1976
Ananoff, Alexandre, with Daniel Wildenstein. François Boucher. 2 vols. Lausanne and Paris, 1976: I:410, no. 301, repro.
1977
Eisler, Colin. Paintings from the Samuel H. Kress Collection: European Schools Excluding Italian. Oxford, 1977: 319-320, fig. 284.
1979
Watson, Ross. The National Gallery of Art, Washington. New York, 1979: 85, pl. 73.
1980
Ananoff, Alexandre, with Daniel Wildenstein. L'opera completa di Boucher. Milan, 1980: no. 312, repro. p. 110, color pl. XXVIII.
1984
Walker, John. National Gallery of Art, Washington. Rev. ed. New York, 1984: 334, no. 445, color repro.
1985
European Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1985: 58, repro.
1986
Brunel, Georges. Boucher. New York, 1986: 241-243, fig. 199, pl. XXVIII.
1992
National Gallery of Art, Washington. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 169, repro.
2005
The Arts of France from François Ier to Napoléon Ier. A Centennial Celebration of Wildenstein's Presence in New York. Exh. cat. Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York, 2005: 56, fig. 40, 72 (not in the exhibition).
2009
Conisbee, Philip, et al. French Paintings of the Fifteenth through the Eighteenth Century. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 2009: no. 6, 33-38, color repro.
2014
Muchembled, Robert. Mysterieuse Madame de Pompadour. Paris, 2014: 374- 380, 530n, repro.

Technical Summary

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