Woman Showing Her Portrait

MAKER:
Artist

Louis Léopold Boilly ( French, 1761 - 1845 )

DATE:
About 1790
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General Description

As a young woman shows off her portrait, an older man examines it—or possibly the woman herself—through the lens of his glasses. Boilly was a prolific portraitist, and he also frequently included portraits within his genre scenes, as he does here. The appearance of the portrait generates a complex circulation of glances and gestures that do not form a clear narrative or help us decide how the figures are interrelated. The highly finished surface of the painting and attention to the minute details of clothing and accessories are typical of French painting at the end of the 18th century.