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museum of decorative Arts and Design

musée des Arts décoratifs
et du Design de Bordeaux
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39 rue Bouffard,
33000 Bordeaux
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Timetable 11 am - 6 pm
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(open on July 14 and August 15)
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The Countess of Balbi sitting at the pianoforte, by Nicolas Le François, 1788.<br/> &copy; madd Bordeaux - Maurice Aeschimann
The Countess of Balbi sitting at the pianoforte, by Nicolas Le François, 1788.
©madd Bordeaux - Maurice Aeschimann
object n°23

The Countess of Balbi sitting at the pianoforte


The painting of miniature portraits and especially on ivory, of which our museum owns an important collection, knows its peak from the years 1760 to the years 1830.Very few things are known about Le François, the author of this work. The young lady of this intimate portrait, wearing indoor clothes, is the countess of Balbi, been born in the family of the Dukes de La Force.
A young and beautiful woman, educated at the French court, she became the lady-in-waiting of the countess of Provence, and then the favourite of the count, future king Louis XVIII.
She accompanied the couple in the exile to Coblenz. In Paris, her ambitions, her busy social and private life made her famous, although variously estimated. She is represented in front of a pianoforte, at the age of thirty, just one year before the French Revolution, as we can know by the inscription on the musical score.

object n°23 (pdf)

previous objects of the month

object n°46
Purchase by City of Bordeaux, 1971, inv. 71.4.1
object n°42
object n°40
Circa 1745
object n°37
Circa 1735
object n°33
The second half of the XVIIIth century
object n°32
Produced between 1948 and 1960
object n°30
The first half of the XXth century
object n°29
Last quarter of the XVIIIth century