When this portrait appeared at auction in 1988 it was identified as a work by Baron François Gérard, and the attribution was endorsed by Alain Latreille, who stated his intention to include it in his forthcoming catalogue raisonné of Gérard's works. The auctioneers tentatively considered the sitter to be Queen Hortense.
M. Latreille no longer accepts the painting as a work by Gérard. In the absence of documentary or archival evidence which would secure the attribution, M. Latreille now believes the portrait to be 'a very fine work' from an artist in Gérard's atelier or immediate circle (verbal communication); he tentatively suggests the artist Marie-Eléonore Godefroy (1778-1849) as a possible alternative candidate for its authorship. For another portrait by Godefroy, see Christie's, New York, 26 May 2000, lot 64.
Our thanks to Alain Latreille for his assistance in preparing this entry.
PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE COLLECTOR
Anonymous sale; Palais Galeria, Paris, 7 December 1976, lot 21, as 'Baron Gérard'.
Anonymous sale; Sotheby's, Monaco, 17 June 1988, lot 914, as 'Baron Gérard, portrait présumé de la Reine Hortense'.
With Richard Herner, London.
Private collection, Houston, Texas.
Anonymous sale; Christie's, New York, 2 November 2000, lot 277, as 'Attributed to Baron Gérard' ($37,600), where acquired by the present owner.