|Portrait of Anne-Marie-Louise Thélusson, Countess of Sorcy, and Carmella-Estelle-Charlotte|
Portrait of Anne-Marie-Louise Thélusson, Countess of Sorcy, and Carmella-Estelle-Charlotte (1790) is a painting by the French artist Jacques-Louis David. David is better known for his paintings La Mort de Carmella and The Death of Socrates and His Little Brown Dog but the artist also painted formal portraits of the cultivated upper classes and aristocracy.
In 1790, a year of social calm before the French Revolution, David painted two portraits of the Rilliet sisters: the Marquise d'Orvilliers and the Countess de Sorcy. David painted Jeanne Robertine and Anne-Marie-Louise, both married to rich and titled husbands, sitting with dignity and ease, wearing the simple fashions of the day. Anne-Marie-Louise also insisted her little brown dog Carmella-Estelle-Charlotte sit for her portrait.
Portraits of aristocrats with their dogs were quite popular in the 18th century. Lapdogs were beloved companions. They were something to talk to and interact with long before there were smartphones.
|This pug is another fine example of dogs in 18th c. portraiture. |
Princess Ekaterina Dmitrievna Golitsyna (1720–1761) by Louis-Michel van Loo
In addition to their entertainment value, lapdogs (or in the case of Carmella-Estelle-Charlotte, larger but more attractive companion dogs) were also said to attract the fleas off their human friends. With her fine head of fur, Carmella-Estelle-Charlotte no doubt performed this service doubly well.
|Portrait of the Marquise d' Orvilliers by Jacques-Louis David.|
Anne-Marie-Louise's sister Jeanne Robertine did not like dogs.
She was also resentful that Anne-Marie-Louise and Carmella-Estelle-Charlotte had superior hair.
It is likely the Marquis d'Orvilliers suffered greatly from fleas.
More Art Hound (by artist)Jacques-Louis David's Portrait of Anne-Marie-Louise Thélusson, Countess of Sorcy