Gustave Jean JacquetFrance 1846-1909
Portrait of a Lady 59.1009
Jacquet has placed the unidentified sitter in front of a tapestry and costumed her in late sixteenth-century dress. The panel is painted with Jacquet's soft but highly finished touch, which carefully distinguishes between the starched lace of her collar, the blue velvet of her dress, and her flawless skin. The light source is non-specific-a quality learned from his teacher, William-Adolphe Bouguereau, who enveloped his figures in a soft, dusky twilight. Bouguereau was the late nineteenth century's most influential upholder of the conservative values of French academic painting. Jacquet's early works closely resembled those of his master, to the extent that his first Paris Salon entry, an allegorical work, bore Bouguereau's signature. However, by the following year, Jacquet began submitting to the annual Salons the subject matter for which he is now best known-highly elaborate costume pieces with a gallant or romantic theme, set in the sixteenth to the eighteenth century. Many depict young women playing musical instruments.
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