18th century French School
François de Troy (1645 – 1730), Paris, circa 1725
Portrait of a Woman as the Goddess Ceres
Oil on canvas: h. 39 in, w. 31.3 in
Regency style frame in richly carved giltwood
Framed: h. 50 in, w. 42.52 in
Although unsigned, like the majority of works by François de Troy, our portrait has been authenticated by the Turquin cabinet as an autograph work by François de Troy.
Our work belongs to the genre of the portrait historiated by the disguise of the model as Ceres, goddess of harvests and fertility.
The young woman is portrayed seated in a rural environment against a background of sheaves of wheat. Half-legged view, turned to the left, the face almost straight on. Her powdery, raised hair is studded with ears of corn, poppies and cornflowers. She holds a sickle in her right hand and in her left a bouquet of wheat sheaves interspersed with wildflowers.
Dressed in a bronze satin dress, a light purplish pink satin coat is delicately fastened to her shoulder.
The materials are rendered with subtlety, characteristic of François de Troy, his brush reveals the suppleness of the fabrics according to the folds and movements.
The chromatic range of summer colors dominated by warm ochres and browns contrasts with the pearly whiteness of the skin tones. The cloud-laden sky background brings out the illuminated face of the young woman.
Our portrait by its fluid treatment and its warm palette corresponds to the last turning point of the long career of the artist.
Our work is similar to the portrait of a woman as Cérès, dated 1724, oil on canvas (130 x 97 cm) (see Dominique Breme, François de Troy, Paris, Somogy editions 1997, reproduced p. 179)