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Portrait of a Woman in a Riding Costume

Portrait of a Woman in a Riding Costume
Jean-Baptiste Isabey
(French, 1767-1855)
Portrait of a Woman in a Riding Costume
1792
Black chalk heightened with white
(73.12)

The French artist Jean-Baptiste Isabey studied under the neoclassical master, Jacques-Louis David. His career in portraiture began in the late 1870s with commissions to paint the likenesses of Marie Antoinette and the Dukes of Angoulême and Berry. Isabey later became a well-known miniaturist, working under Napoleon and King Louis Philippe.

The Portrait of a Woman in a Riding Costume is a beautiful, highly finished work that reflects the newly elevated status of drawing in the eighteenth century. Although the name of the patron/patroness is unknown, the image was clearly designed to be displayed and admired. The woman pictured wears a mannish riding outfit that would have been seen as very modern in the late eighteenth century.

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