Portrait of Madame Récamier

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Portrait of Madame Récamier
Madame Récamier painted by Jacques-Louis David in 1800.jpg
Artist Jacques-Louis David
Year 1800
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions 174 cm × 224 cm (68.50 in × 88.58 in)
Location Louvre, Paris

Portrait of Madame Récamier is an 1800 portrait of the Parisian socialite Juliette Récamier[1] by Jacques-Louis David showing her in the height of Neoclassical fashion, reclining on an Directoire style sofa in a simple Empire line dress with almost bare arms, and short hair "à la Titus". He began it in May 1800 but may have left it unfinished when he learned that François Gérard had been commissioned before him to paint a portrait of the same model (Gerard's portrait was completed in 1802); on the other hand many David portraits have the same bare background. The pose of a reclining figure looking back over her shoulder was adopted in 1814 by Ingres for his Grande Odalisque. It is now in the Louvre.

In Creatures in an Alphabet, Djuna Barnes wrote of the subject as

The Seal, she lounges like a bride,

Much too docile, there's no doubt;
Madame Récamier, on side,

(if such she has), and bottom out.

René Magritte also parodied David's painting in his own Perspective: Madame Récamier by David, showing a coffin reclining, now in the National Gallery of Canada.[2]


  1. ^ Madame Récamier. Louvre, 2013. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  2. ^ NGC catalogue entry