Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
Madame d'Aguesseau de Fresnes
oil on wood
107 x 83.2 cm (42 1/8 x 32 3/4 in)
Presumably the collection of the sitter and her family; possibly (Ferol, Paris), c. 1850.  Mrs. Stephen Lyne-Stephens [1813-1894, née Yolande-Marie-Louise Duvernay], Lynford Hall, Norfolk, Upper Grove House, Roehampton, and Paris; (her estate sale, Christie, Manson & Woods, London, 9-11 and 13-17 May 1895, 3rd day [May 11], no. 360, sold for 2,250 guineas); (Thos. Agnew and Sons, Ltd., London); sold 13 May 1895 to J. Pierpont Morgan I [1837-1913], London;  consigned July 1943 by the Morgan estate to (M. Knoedler & Co., New York); sold October 1943 to (Wildenstein & Co., Inc., New York); purchased 3 January 1944 by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation, New York; gift 1946 to NGA.  According to T. Humphry Ward and William Roberts, Pictures in the Collection of J. Pierpont Morgan at Prince's Gate & Dover House, London: Dutch & Flemish, French, Italian, Spanish, 2 vols., London, 1907: unpaginated. Frits Lugt, Répertoir des catalogues de ventes publiques intéressant l'art ou la curiosité, 4 vols., The Hague, 1939-1964: 2:nos. 22745 and 25136, records two sales in the 1850s for the dealer Férol, one of 22 January 1856, in which there were paintings, and the second on 7-8 December 1859, composed of prints and books. The NGA portrait was featured in neither.  On the life and career of Mrs. Stephens Lyne-Stephens (earlier in her life, the French ballerina Pauline Duvernay), who was an art collector of considerable stature, see Louis Véron, Les mémoires d'un bourgeois de Paris, 6 vols., Paris, 1854; Charles Boigne, Ces demoiselles de l'opéra, Paris, 1887: 110-118; Lillian Moore, "Pauline Duvernay," The Dancing Times (January 1934): 449-452; Cyril W. Beaumont, Three French Dancers of the Nineteenth Century: Duvernay, Livry, and Beaugrand, London, 1935; Ivor Forbes Guest, The Romantic Ballet in Paris, Middletown, Connecticut, 1966.  On p. 34 of the Saterlee Album (New York, Pierpont Morgan Library Archives), there is a photograph of the upstairs drawing room of J.P. Morgan's London home at Princes Gate (see J. Pierpont Morgan, Collector: European Decorative Arts from the Wadsworth Atheneum, exh. cat., Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, 1987: 32, fig. 7, 35, fig. 10). The painting is included in J.P. Morgan Jr.'s list of Morgan possessions lent to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1912 (document in the Morgan Library, box 168, folder 3, p. 143, no. 1347, as the "Portrait of the Marquise de Laborde by Vigée Le Brun...," with the Morgan inventory number 1341); Eliot W. Rowlands, personal communication with Joseph Baillio.