Portrait of the Comtesse Vilain XIIII and her Daughter

The Comtesse Vilain XIIII (1780 - 1853) is shown with her five-year-old daughter, Louise. The portrait was painted in Brussels during the first year of David's exile there after the fall of Napoleon. Like David, the Comtesse was associated with the Napoleonic cause. Her husband, Philippe Vilain XIIII was ennobled by Napoleon in 1811. The Comtesse was formerly lady-in-waiting to the Empress Marie-Louise and had held one of the paraphernalia (probably the water vessel) at the baptism of Napoleon's son, the King of Rome.

The Comtesse described her sittings for the artist in a series of letters to her husband. Although she complained about the length of these she was happy with the portrait when it was completed.

Key facts

Artist dates
1748 - 1825
Full title
Portrait of the Comtesse Vilain XIIII and her Daughter
Date made
Medium and support
Oil on canvas
95 x 76 cm
Inscription summary
Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit
Bought, 1994
Inventory number
Location in Gallery