Skip Navigation

Portrait of Madame Tallien

Jean-Bernard Duvivier

European Art

On View: Beaux-Arts Court, North, 3rd Floor
Madame Tallien both witnessed and participated in the dramatic events of 1789 to 1804, including the fall of the French monarchy, the French Revolution, the birth of a new republic, and the declaration of the Empire. Divorced from her aristocratic first husband, she married Jean-Lambert Tallien, a rising political star, whom she urged to end the Reign of Terror, the Revolution’s bloodiest episode. In the late 1790s the transparent linens of her classically inspired dress and her liaisons with powerful men scandalized polite society. In 1805 she married for the third time, to the Belgian Count of Caraman, later the Prince of Chimay. Duvivier paints the countess in a chaste version of the high-waisted dress she made famous. The painter emphasizes her elevated status with a careful rendering of her elegant accessories and furnishings, including the sheen of the velvet cushions and draperies, the smooth, patterned surface of the wood settee, and the paisley of the rare cashmere shawl.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: Europe
  • DATES 1806
    DIMENSIONS 49 1/2 x 36 3/4 in. (125.7 x 93.3 cm) Frame: 57 x 44 1/4 x 3 3/4 in. (144.8 x 112.4 x 9.5 cm)  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed and dated lower left: "J.B. Duvivier/1806"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Beaux-Arts Court, North, 3rd Floor
    ACCESSION NUMBER 1989.28
    CREDIT LINE Healy Purchase Fund B
    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
    This work may be in the public domain in the United States. Works created by United States and non-United States nationals published prior to 1923 are in the public domain, subject to the terms of any applicable treaty or agreement.

    You may download and use Brooklyn Museum images of this work. Please include caption information from this page and credit the Brooklyn Museum. If you need a high resolution file, please contact reproductions@brooklynmuseum.org (charges apply).

    The Museum does not warrant that the use of this work will not infringe on the rights of third parties, such as artists or artists' heirs holding the rights to the work. It is your responsibility to determine and satisfy copyright or other use restrictions before copying, transmitting, or making other use of protected items beyond that allowed by "fair use," as such term is understood under the United States Copyright Act.

    The Brooklyn Museum makes no representations or warranties with respect to the application or terms of any international agreement governing copyright protection in the United States for works created by foreign nationals.

    For further information about copyright, we recommend resources at the United States Library of Congress, Cornell University, Copyright and Cultural Institutions: Guidelines for U.S. Libraries, Archives, and Museums, and Copyright Watch.

    For more information about the Museum's rights project, including how rights types are assigned, please see our blog posts on copyright.

    If you have any information regarding this work and rights to it, please contact copyright@brooklynmuseum.org.
    CAPTION Jean-Bernard Duvivier (Belgian, 1762-1837). Portrait of Madame Tallien, 1806. Oil on canvas, 49 1/2 x 36 3/4 in. (125.7 x 93.3 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Healy Purchase Fund B, 1989.28
    IMAGE overall, 1989.28_SL1.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    RECORD COMPLETENESS Best (86%)
    Not every record you will find here is complete. More information is available for some works than for others, and some entries have been updated more recently. Records are frequently reviewed and revised, and we welcome any additional information you might have.