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Suzanne Le Peletier de Saint-Fargeau
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Jacques-Louis David
French, France, 1804
Oil on canvas
23 3/4 x 19 1/2 in.
97.PA.36

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In one of the few commissions Jacques-Louis David accepted after he began working regularly for Napoleon in 1799, he agreed to paint a portrait of Suzanne Le Peletier when she was twenty-two years old. The portrait was painted the year of her engagement to her cousin Léon Le Peletier de Mortefontaine, whom she married in 1806. The painting's small size and intimate mood reflect its private nature. Suzanne is portrayed bust-length, facing the viewer. Her dark hair falls in loose curls around her forehead, accentuating her large, dark eyes. She is fashionably dressed in pale muslin with a soft, black cashmere stole around her neck. Suzanne Le Peletier became a national celebrity at the age of eleven after the murder of her father, the French revolutionary Michel Le Peletier. Following his assassination, Suzanne was officially adopted by the French nation and given the title "daughter of the state."

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