This lovely oil on canvas portrait by the French painter, Robert Tourniers (sometimes spelled “Tournieres”), depicts the noblewoman, Henriette Euphemie de Moniot. A giltwood frame with textured lozenge background surrounds the canvas. The frame features large, symmetrical acanthus curls, shells, and pebbles – all traits of Rocaille. A plaque that reads “Henriette Euphemie de Moniot By Robert Tourniers 1668-1752” has been affixed to the bottom of the frame.
A gradient-colored background can be seen behind Henriette, with the left side consisting of dark hues, such as black and emerald. As the eye moves right, the color softens, with various light green hues used to represent light. In the upper right-hand corner of the canvas is a heraldic element featuring a green lozenge emblazoned with three trees or arrows. The coat of arms is topped by a crown and based on the arrangement of the points, most likely designates that Henriette was a countess or baroness. Written in cursive beneath the coat of arms is “Henriette Euphemie de Moniot et d’Hestroy Dem lle de Godinne 1734”, further indicating that Henriette was from Godinne, a municipality in Namur, about 30 km from the current French border. Namur is in present day Belgium.
Henriette has a flowered pin in her hair and a large brooch on her chest filled with pink and white flowers. She is wearing a gold dress adorned with strings of pearls. A light green and rose-colored wrap hangs off her right shoulder as she grips the material with her left hand. Under Henriette’s left arm is a red piece of marble with cream veining.
Robert Le Vrac de Tournieres was born in Caen, in northwest France. Tournieres was received into the prestigious Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture twice, once as a portrait painter in 1702, and then again as a historical painter in 1716. In 1737, Tournieres was promoted to auxiliary professor. Tournieres is well-known for his portraits, which can be seen in museums across the world, from the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia, to the National Gallery of Art in D.C.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including minor losses to frame and craquelure on canvas. Light buildup and separations to frame, which has been wired for hanging.