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Gros was commissioned to paint a full-length portrait of the Duchess of Angoulême in 1816 for the Chamber of Deputies. The work was exhibited at the Salon in 1817 and is now at Versailles. Gros painted a fully worked-up study of the Duchess and it is probable that the work now in The Bowes Museum is this study. In this painting Gros has handled the personal features of the Duchess in a softer, more private manner than in the final full-length portrait. The loose brushwork of the lace ribbons at the back of her head, and the jewels decorating her tiara, also indicate that this is perhaps a preparatory work. An inscription on the back of the canvas states that the portrait was bequeathed by Gros’ widow to the Duke of Bourdeaux.
Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte of France (1778–1851), Duchesse d'Angoulême
oil on canvas
H 73 x W 60.9 cm
bequeathed by the Founders, 1885