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The sitter was identified by a label, as Marie-Charlotte de Châteaurenaud, who married the marquis de Belestat of Toulouse (1725–1807) in 1752. She succeeded her mother as a lady-in-waiting to the daughters of Louis XV and attended the court at Versailles in 1754 and 1755. In 1754 she was involved in a dispute at cards with the comte de Lorge, an incident which Voltaire commemorated in verse. The portrait is of a type commonly used by the artist to depict young female sitters: she is dressed in the formal robe à la française with blue silk drapery, three-quarter length, without hands, in front of a neutral background. Such portraits demonstrate that Nattier’s aim was not to represent the psychology of his modish sitters but to show how closely their appearance conformed to the current fashionable ideals of female beauty.

The Wallace Collection



The marquise de Belestat




oil on canvas


H 81 x W 64 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

acquired by Richard Seymour-Conway, 4th Marquess of Hertford, 1867; bequeathed to the nation by Lady Wallace, 1897

Work type



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The Wallace Collection

Hertford House, Manchester Square, London, Greater London W1U 3BN England

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