This portrait was once thought to be of Elisa Bonaparte (1777–1820), a younger sister of Napoleon Bonaparte. However, the young woman has not yet been identified. At one time attributed to Jacques-Louis David, the portrait has been claimed to be both French and Italian – the hills in the background suggest that it may have been painted in Italy. Although the artist is not yet known, this is a finely painted portrait. The flowing lines of the neoclassical clothing, based upon a revival of Greco-Roman styles, and the clean outline of the woman, whose body is seen in profile, indicate that it was painted in the very early years of the nineteenth century.
The portrait was left unfinished and has been painted over the outline of a seated male nude, which is perhaps the work of another artist and was possibly part of a larger composition that has been turned on its side. Some of the man’s outline is still visible, particularly on the left of the picture.
Download a low-resolution copy of this image for personal use.
License and download a high-resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.
This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.
Examples of non-commercial use are:
The image file is 800 pixels on the longest side.
As a charity, we depend upon the generosity of individuals to ensure the collection continues to engage and inspire. Help keep us free by making a donation today.
You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.