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Madame de La Porte



Jean-Marc Nattier


17 Mar 1685 - 07 Nov 1766


Recently established as the portrait of a fellow painter's wife, this image is the last word in high fashion. The sitter's ensemble, overstated for any but an occasion of high formality, capitalises on a rumpled sash winding its attention-seeking way around Madame de la Porte's petite torso. Her overly bright eyes and eggshell skin contribute to an effect of artificiality. Although Nattier was not capable of Boucher's moments of naturalism, this image marks a shift in that direction, and away from the far more formally baroque language of his state portraits. In keeping with the high value placed on harmonious social relations in this age of Enlightenment, the present sitter regards the spectator with a look of courtesy mingled with candour. She is confident, yet not condescending. Her trust in Nattier is clear and clearly reciprocated.

AGNSW Handbook, 1999.


Other Titles

Portrait of Madame de La Porte, half length, wearing a white satin dress with gold embroidery and a blue cloak, with flowers in her hair

Portrait of a young woman



Media category


Materials used

oil on canvas


80.8 x 64.1 approx original canvas; 81.7 x 65.4 cm stretcher; 111.0 x 94.5 x 10.0 cm frame

Signature & date

Signed and dated centre left "Nattier/ ...1754".


Gift of William Bowmore OBE 1992

Accession number


Artist information

Jean-Marc Nattier

Works in the collection


Shown in 8 exhibitions

Exhibition history

The provenance of this work is under review and records will be updated as new details become available. The Gallery welcomes any information. Contact


Rodolphe Kann, post 1880-08 Feb 1905, Paris/France, Purchased after March 1879 and before 1900. In the collection of Kann by 1900, see 'Gemaeldesammlung des Herrn Rudolf Kann in Paris' by W Bode, 1900. Rodolphe Kann began collecting in 1880. The collection was sold 'en bloc' in August 1907 to Duveen Brothers.

Kann Estate, 08 Feb 1905-Aug 1907, Paris/France, The Rodolphe Kann collection was sold 'en bloc' in August 1907 to Duveen Brothers.

Duveen Brothers (London, New York, Paris), Aug 1907-10 Sep 1908, Paris/France, [dealer] Kann Collection stock no. 152

Sir Ernest Cassel, 10 Sep 1908-21 Sep 1921, London/England, Purchased by Sir Cassel from Duveen Brothers, Paris 10 September 1908

Wilhelmina Cassel, 21 Sep 1921-16 Sep 1925, England, by descent, sister of Sir Cassel. Wilhelmina Cassel was bequeathed all of Sir Cassel's furniture, glass, pictures, fixtures and fittings and several properties for use during her life time, these all passed to her niece Edwina Mountbatten.

Lady Louis Mountbatten, 16 Sep 1925-04 Feb 1946, London/England, by descent, Edwina Mountbatten granddaughter of Ernest Cassel. Sold it to Henry Morton Lee, London, on 5 Feb 1946 for ₤1,250

Morton Lee, 04 Feb 1946-22 Feb 1946, London/England, [dealer] Eminent dealer in French art. Purchased from Lady Mountbatten 5 February 1946 for ₤1,250. Sold to Frank Partridge 22 February 1946

Frank Partridge, 22 Feb 1946-13 Mar 1946, London/England, [dealer] Purchased by Frank Partridge, London, from Morton Lee, 22 February 1946

Wildenstein & Co., 13 Mar 1946-1955, New York/New York/United States of America, Purchased by Wildenstein, London from Frank Partridge, 13 March 1946. Sold to Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955

Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955-1976?, New York/New York/United States of America, Purchased by Abby Rockefeller Mauze, 1955

Agnew's, London, 1976-18 Oct 1977, London/England, With Agnew's London circa 1976. Sold to William Bowmore, London, 18 October 1977 for ₤65,000 [Thos Agnew & Sons Ltd Archive, NG, London, stock number 9130]

William Bowmore, 18 Oct 1977-04 Jun 1992, Sydney/New South Wales/Australia, Purchased by William Bowmore from Agnew's London 18 October 1977 for GiftThis painting was offered for sale at Christie's, London 14 Dec 1990, lot 72, but did not sell. Gift of William Bowmore OBE 1992.

Referenced in 25 publications


Art Gallery of New South Wales, Great gifts, great patrons: an exhibition celebrating private patronage of the Gallery, Sydney, 1994, np.

W Bode, Gemaeldesammlung des Herrn Rudolf Kann in Paris, 1900, p xxxi, p v, no 90, illus p xxxi and pl XC. p v (list of plates), illus p xxxi (in general room view), and pl XC (as Brustbild einer jungen vornehmen Dame, 78 x 61 cm)

Edmund Capon, Great philanthropists on trial : the art of the bequest, 'The James Fairfax collection', Melbourne, 2006, pp 126–35: p 135.

Christie's London (Editor), Old Master Pictures, St. James's, 14 Dec 1990, p 120, no 72, col illus p 121.

Renée Free, AGNSW Collections, 'The Western Heritage, Renaissance to Twentieth Century', Sydney, 1994, pp 108–72; p 124, col illus p 125.

René Gimpel, Diary of an art dealer, London, 1966, p 302.

Bruce James, Art Gallery of New South Wales handbook, 'Western Collection: Paintings and Sculpture', Sydney, 1999, pp 17–77: p 31, col illus p 31.

Auguste Marguillier, Les Arts, no 15, 'La collection de M. Rodolphe [note spelling] Kann', Paris, Mar 1903, illus p 4.

Emile Michel, Gazette des Beaux-Arts, period 3, year 43, vol 25, 'La galerie de M Rudolphe Kann', Paris, Jun 1901, pp 385–400, 493–506 : pp 503–04.

M. Knoedler and Co, New York, A family exhibit, for the benefit of the National Urban League, New York, 1959, p 44, no 25, illus p 23. As 'Portrait of Madame de La Porte'. Collection de Mr and Mrs Jean Mauzé.

Museu de Arte, O Retrato na Franca, 1952, p 32, illus p 33 and on cover.

Marcel Nicolle, Revue de l’art ancien et moderne, vol 23, 'La collection Rodolphe Kann', Paris, Jan 1908-Jun 1908, pp 187–204: p 202.

Ron Radford (Curator), The fine art of giving: 90 masterpieces from the William Bowmore Collection, Adelaide, 1999, pp 14, 44, 72 note 11, 73, no 11, col illus p 45.

Philippe Renard, Jean-Marc Nattier (1685–1766). Un artiste parisien à la cour de Louis XV, Saint-Rémy-en-l'Eau, 1999, pp 126, 237 note 21.

Xavier Salmon, Jean-Marie Nattier 1685-1766, Paris, 1999, p 262, illus p 262, fig 6. illustrated in reference to no 74, 'Portrait présumé de Marie-Anne Camasse' 1755.

Malgorzata Sawicki, AICCM Bulletin, vol 30, ‘Practical implications of research into non-traditional in-gilding techniques: loss compensation in conservation of gilded objects’, 2006-2007, pp 63–70: pp 64–65.

Margaret Sawicki, Future of losses compensation in conservation of gilded objects: non-traditional in-gilding techniques (poster), ICOM-CO Triennal Meeting, The Hague, 12 Sep 2005-15 Sep 2005, poster.

John Saxby (Editor), Look, 'AGNSW on the road', Sydney, May 2017-Jun 2017, p 15, col illus pp 13, 15.

Daniel Thomas, Art and Australia, vol 15, no 3, 'The William Bowmore collection', Sydney, Mar 1978, pp 272–82: col illus p 274.

Wildenstein & Co., French XVIIIth century paintings, New York, 1948, np, no 34, illus np. As 'Portrait of the Comtesse de la Porte'.

Catalogue of the Rodolphe Kann collection, 4 vols, vol 2, Paris, 1907, p 62, no 152, illus p 63.

French eighteenth century paintings: loan exhibition for the benefit of the education program of the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, New York, 1954, np, no 20. As 'Portrait of Madame de La Porte'.

Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 1992 [for the year ended 30 June 1992], Sydney, 1992, p 67, col illus p 3.

Chronique des Arts, suppl to Gazette des Beaux-Arts, 6th period, vol 121, year 135, no 1490, Paris, Mar 1993, p 31, illus p 31.

Art Gallery of New South Wales annual report 2000, Sydney, 2000, p 58. loan.