The Venetian At The Mask Ball by Joseph-Desire Court
The Venetian At The Mask Ball by Joseph-Desire Court

The Venetian At The Mask Ball

The Venetian At The Mask Ball c1837 by French Painter Joseph-Desire Court (1797 – 1865); a portrait paint and painter of historical subject matter.

This is a breath taking portrait of a beautiful young lady sitting on a balcony seat at a grand ball, with her back to a massive golden floral carved pillar.

The is wearing an eye catching deep pink and white tall hat that is complimented with three large feathers that hanging over her hat to her right side; one feathre is black, the others are deep pink and white just like her hat.

That hat and feathers make her jet black hair and dark eyes stand out; and are beautifully contrasted with her black velvet and deep rose dress with fluffy white sleeves and adorned with deep pink along her hair, hat, and sleeves of the dress that are a perfect match for the other articles of clothing described above.

She is also wearing a pair of arms length gloves that do not have finger attatchments; and on her left hand she is wearing diamond and red gemstone ring and from her right hand dangles a mask.

In the background we see three huge lighted chandeliers and a very large crowd of people that have come to the ball.

The Venetian At The Mask Ball is a retouched digital art old masters reproduction of a public domain image.

Below Info Courtesy The Matthiesen Gallery

It is thought that the portrait, referred to in the 1838 Salon catalogue as Portrait of Miss W, may perhaps be of the daughter of Louis-Philippe’s trusted valet, George White. There was a ‘Mademoiselle White’ in service during the 1830s as a chambermaid to Adélaïde d’Orléans, Louis Philippe’s sister and it would not have been uncommon for the child of a trusted servant to gain employment in the household of another member of the royal family.

George White himself had originally been employed by the brother of the king, the duc de Montpensier, and following his death in 1807 had been taken on by Louis-Philippe. George While is believed to have entered the royal family’s service during their first exile in England, from 1800-1815, and rose to be the closest of personal servants. George had rooms at both the castle of Randan and the Trianon at Versailles and was granted an allowance of 3000 francs during Louis-Philippe’s second exile, 1848-1850.

It is also known that George had an eye for art, purchasing works on behalf of Louis-Philippe on a number of occasions. Although this portrait may seem grand for a servant, it perhaps shows both the esteem with which the family was held within the Royal Household and also George’s connections within the artistic fraternity. Whether he was personally known to Court we are not sure, however Court’s extended activity at Versailles during the July monarchy must have brought the two of them to an acquaintance with each other.

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