Saturday, July 26, 2014


This painting is in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, where my mom works.  It shows a pretty, older lady who looks like she is a very nice person.  The way we know that she is so nice is because she is holding her dog.  Anybody who likes dogs and wants hers to be in a portrait has to be a very good person.  At least that's my opinion, and I believe that it is a very good opinion.

I'm not totally sure what kind of dog Madame Dericour is holding, but it might be some type of little spaniel or maybe a Maltese.  Anyway, I think that dog was lucky to have a mom who could afford to wear such fancy dresses and probably buy yummy dog food, too.

The artist who painted this picture was named Joseph-Siffred Duplessis.  He was born in 1725 in a town near Avignon.  His whole family was artistic, and his father gave him his first art lessons.  Later, as a young man, he studied with some famous artists in Rome and southern France.

Louis XVI, 1775

He exhibited in Paris and soon became well-known for portraits.  After he painted a picture of King Louis XVI in 1775, Duplessis was appointed peintre du Roi.  Besides painting the royal family, Duplessis made portraits of the opera composer Christoph Willibald Gluck and American diplomat Benjamin Franklin.  The picture of Mr. Franklin is the one that now appears on our $100 bills.

Benjamin Franklin, about 1785

Towards the end of his life, Monsieur Duplessis painted a self-portrtait.

Self-portrait, 1801
He died in 1801.  This is sad because if he was still alive, he could paint a picture of me sitting on Mom's lap, and then we could hang the portrait above our sofa, where Mom sometimes sits and holds me on her lap.

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