Suzanne Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau
S. Le Peletier / David

Suzanne le Peletier was orphaned at age eleven when her father was assassinated by a royalist. The girl was adopted by the revolutionary government and nickamed "Mademoiselle Nation."

When David painted her, Suzanne was 22 and had already divorced and lost two children. The realism, subdued colors, rough brushwork, and psychological directness of this small painting set it apart from the lavish, idealized portraits that were fashionable in Napoleon's court.

Suzanne's public importance and association with revolutionary politics appealed to David, but the exact circumstances of this commission or gift are unknown.

Listen to a discussion of this image.

Video: Learn more about Suzanne Le Peletier.