Skip to main content
Portrait of the Comtesse Vilain XIIII and her Daughter
Jacques-Louis David
/

This portrait is one of the first painted by Jacques-Louis David (1748–1825) when he chose exile in Brussels in 1816 following the fall of Napoleon, whom he had supported, and the restoration of the Bourbon monarchy. Isolated from Paris, David relied mainly on painting portraits of Brussels citizens and fellow Napoleonic émigrés to earn a living.

David rarely painted portraits of families and children. Here he captures the affection between the Comtesse, Sophie, and her five-year-old daughter, Marie-Louise, but without sentimentality or idealisation. This restraint and realism are echoed in the plain background and absence of lavish accessories or furnishings.

The Comtesse Vilain XIIII had formerly been a lady-in-waiting to the Empress Marie-Louise, Napoleon’s second wife, and had attended the baptism of their son, Napoleon II, the King of Rome.

There are only two paintings by David in Britain – this, and the National Gallery’s Portrait of Jacobus Blauw.

Key facts
Artist Jacques-Louis David
Artist dates 1748 - 1825
Full title Portrait of the Comtesse Vilain XIIII and her Daughter
Date made 1816
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 95 x 76 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Bought, 1994
Inventory number NG6545
Location in Gallery Not on display
Download image
Download low-resolution image

Download an 800px wide, 72dpi copy of this image.

License this image

License and download a high resolution image for reproductions up to A3 size from the National Gallery Picture Library.

License image
Download low resolution image

This image is licensed for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons agreement.

Examples of non-commercial use are:

  • Research, private study, or for internal circulation within an educational organisation (such as a school, college or university)
  • Non-profit publications, personal websites, blogs, and social media

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.

Yes, I'd like to donate
Or
Download low resolution image

You must agree to the Creative Commons terms and conditions to download this image.

Creative Commons Logo