Portrait of Madame Le Barbier
  • Jacques Antoine Marie Lemoine
  • Rouen 1751 - 1824 Paris
  • Portrait of Madame Le Barbier, 1776
  • Black and red chalk, partly coloured wash, mounted by the artist
    behind a second page with an oval cut out frame and
    a painted bow above, pen and brush with grey ink, signed
    and dated in the shadow of the frame:
  • Lemoine Del. 1776 Rouen,
    inscribed with pen and brown ink below:
    Pour rendre ce Portrait Fidele / L’Artiste piegnie la Douceur /
    Les Graces, les ... unis ’la...,/ et laissa les vertus dans le coeur
    du modele. Paris
  • 190 × 123 mm
Album of the family Le Barbier,
dispersed by Galerie Prouté, Paris (after 1960)
private collection Nantes

Lemoine began his training in 1771 under J.-B. Decamps (1706-1791) in Rouen and soon specialized in miniature portraits. In 1779 he was drawn to Paris, he found great supports and soon became the favourite artist of famous actresses. After 1813, Lemoine would also successfully take up porcelain painting.

The woman shown here, Marie-Charlotte Le Barbier, born Roland (ca. 1744-1800), had married the painter Jean-Jacques François Le Barbier (1738-1826) in 1766. Her brother was the well-known sculptor Philippe-Laurent Roland. The Lemoine and Le Barbier families were friends in Rouen, allowing one to see the artist’s commentary below the frame as true compliment to the sitter. A few years later, Lemoine portrayed Marie-Charlotte’s husband in turn, once again in profile to the left and en miniature (Fig. 1). This picture was also in the disbanded album of the Le Barbier family. Neil Jeffares confirmed the authenticity of the drawing shown here in spring of 2011.