Skip to content

Portrait of the comtesse de Buffon

French school, dated lower left 1788
Oil on canvas

Portrait of the comtesse de Buffon

French school, dated lower left 1788
Oil on canvas

Portrait of the comtesse de Buffon

French school, dated lower left 1788
Oil on canvas

Descriptive

The Countess of Buffon is represented wearing a white muslin dress belted with a purple satin ribbon. A black hat adorned with feathers is placed on a mahogany table beside her. While her fit illustrates her Anglophilia, the room decoration shows that the picture was painted in France. She is leaning against a white marble mantelpiece whose frame is decorated with a famous antique composition of Psyche and Love. A letter placed on the chimney piece with the sentence “I am coming”. This, together with the watch held by the young woman and the dog of fidelity at her feet, form a common allegory of waiting in love.

The sitter of this portrait has been identified through a plate repeating this oval composition, enameled by William Hopkins Craft who signed, dated (1790) and named the subject depicted (former Pelham collection).
The daughter-in-law of the famous naturalist and mistress of the Duc d’Orléans, accompanied the latter to England during his travels. The enamel versions must have been executed at these occasions.