Henriette Massüe Le Moine, 1854
Canadian, 1817 - 1870
oil on canvas
98.1 x 76.4 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 23179)
Henriette Massue Le Moine (1828-1905) was daughter of legislative councillor Louis Massue (1796-1869); In 1846 she married Alexandre Le Moine (1818-1883), a notary in Quebec City
This splendid portrait, dated 1854, reflects the originality of Théophile Hamel's artistic approach, which he attributed to his three-year stay in Italy. The young lady, shown in a natural, informal pose, seems eminently approachable. There is no association between the landscape in the background and the sitter's identity: it serves rather to set off the figure and situate it in space. The painter has brought out the rich colours of the stylish garments, employing deep, warm-hued tones. The general mood of the picture is one of tranquil elegance.