Splendid ceremonial portrait of Marguerite d'Ornano, Countess of Grignan.
Represented in three-quarters, half-length, head turned towards the viewer, serene face sketching a half-smile.
The combed curly blonde hair is gathered in a loose bun at the back. Despite the sobriety of the costume, a row of pearls joined by a red ribbon adorns her hairstyle.
She wears around her neck a very large ruff of white lace, which surrounds her head and highlights the delicacy of her skin and her fresh complexion. She is dressed in a white blouse, and over it a black silk dress with puffed and intersected sleeves, her very tight waist contrasting with the amplitude of the strawberry. The cut of her dress is adorned with an elegant and sober black silk bow.
Equipped with powerful lighting, our painting deploys a reduced palette dominated by the immaculate white of the strawberry and the black of the dress, thus creating strong contrasts and areas of shadow. The red color accents of the ribbon and the model's lips stand out intensely against this monochromatic background.
Frans Pourbus' influence is evident in this portrait sober in its palette, but rich in the many details of the costume which give importance to the model standing out against a gray-green background. Nevertheless, the rigidity of posture and the ostentatious character are softened by a typically French finesse and delicacy of execution. This sensitivity without flattery of our artist makes the model more touching and alive.
Despite a relative lack of information on French portrait painters from the beginning of the 17th century, we can still get closer to Daniel Dumonstier, a French draftsman known above all for his works filled with a strong psychological realism.
French School, circa 1620-1630
Circle of Daniel Dumonstier (1574–1646)
Oil on canvas,
Dimensions: h. 59 cm, w. 49cm
Carved and giltwood frame decorated with oak leaves and acorns
Framed: h. 67 cm, w. 77cm
Another variant of this portrait is in the museum of the city of Saintes, this version is more shortened in its lower part leaving room for the inscription.
Marguerite d'Ornano, (? -1655, Grignan) daughter of Henri Francois d'Ornano, Marshal of France married Louis Gaucher de Castellane, Count of Grignan in 1628 and moved to the Château de Grignan, possession of her husband, where she died in 1655. Of their numerous offspring, it was François Jules de Castellane, Count of Grignan (1632-1714) who had the most illustrious descendants. He will marry in third weddings in 1669 Francois de Sevigné, Marquise de Sevigné, daughter of the famous letter writer Marie de Rabutin-Chantal.