Portrait of Madame Récamier  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Portrait of Madame Récamier is an 1800 portrait of Juliette Récamier by Jacques Louis David showing her reclining on an empire style sofa in an empire line dressed as a modern vestal virgin. He began it in May 1800 but voluntarily left it unfinished when he learned that François Gérard had been commissioned before him to paint a portrait of the same model (Gerard's portrait was completed in 1802). The pose of a reclining figure looking back over her shoulder was adopted in 1814 by Ingres for his Grande Odalisque. It is now in the Louvre.

In Creatures in an Alphabet, Djuna Barnes wrote of the subject as

The Seal, she lounges like a bride,
Much too docile, there's no doubt;
Madame Récamier, on side,
(if such she has), and bottom out.

René Magritte also parodied David's painting in his own Perspective: Madame Récamier by David (1951), showing a coffin reclining, now in the National Gallery of Canada.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Portrait of Madame Récamier" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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