La Dame au gant

Carolus-Duran
La Dame au gant
en 1869
huile sur toile
H. 228 ; L. 164 cm avec cadre H. 281 ; L. 216,5 cm; pds. 76 kg.
© RMN-Grand Palais (Musée d’Orsay) / Hervé Lewandowski
Carolus-Duran (1837 - 1917)
Rez-de-chaussée, Galerie Seine

The Lady with the Glove, a life-sized full-length portrait of the artist's young wife, was a great success at the 1869 Salon, where it won a medal. Regarded by the critics as the archetypal formal portrait, the work shows a sober composition, masterful drawing and delicate use of colour which recall David and Ingres. Standing out from a near-empty background painted in shades of grey and black, and the dark, changing colours of the gown, three interrelated elements catch the eye: the young woman's face and fashionable hairstyle, her hands, one drawing off a pearly grey glove, and the glove on the ground underlined by the painter's signature, in red. This anecdotal detail gives the work a modern instantaneous look which helps us understand why Emile Zola saw in Carolus-Duran a disciple of Manet.