Marie Louise Renée de Charnay, Co-seigneur of Kamouraska, c. 1800-1802
Canadian, 1759 - 1830
oil on canvas
71.7 x 58.8 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 35533)
Marie Louise Renée du Charnay married Paschal-Jacques Taché at Saint-Louis de Kamouraska 26 Sept 1785
François Baillairgé, the only Canadian artist to have attended the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in Paris, had an enormous influence on the development of art in this country. As this portrait clearly shows, he strove to achieve compositional unity by subordinating the parts to the whole and by employing simple, direct methods. The model, whose neutral expression conveys a remarkable sense of serenity, is positioned in the foreground at a slight angle. Part of her body is silhouetted against the evergreen that rises on the left, while the open vista on the right, showing the seigneurial manor in the distance, creates an impression of depth. The pale, delicate colours, dominated by tones of ochre, add to the overall harmony.