1765 Maria Luisa de Parma, later Queen of Spain by Laurent Pecheux marital prospect portrait (Metropolitan Mueum)

The Metropolitan Museum has excellent notes about this portrait, the first two paragraphs of which follow:  "The history of this commission is recorded in great detail in the artist's biography [Ref. 1804]. Pecheux was called to Parma in January 1765 to paint a likeness of the Princess, one that would be sent to Madrid to the family of her future husband, the Prince of Asturias, later Charles IV, King of Spain. During his stay at the court of Parma, the artist produced a replica in reverse of the portrait (now Palazzo Pitti, Florence), as well as a three-quarter length portrait of the Princess, a half-length and full-length portrait of her brother Ferdinando di Borbone-Parma, and a full-length portrait of their father, Duke Philip of Parma (all three in the Galleria Nazionale, Parma). Although Parker [Ref. 1966] suggests that the full-length portraits of the Duke and Prince were conceived as a series with the MMA portrait, it is more likely that they were intended to hang beside Pecheux's reverse replica of it, which remained in Parma.

Chiablese, Turin, and what appears to be a replica is in the chateau d'Ansouis, Provence (ill., Architectural Digest, October 1985, p. 217). Mengs derived his two portraits of Maria Luisa after her marriage, in which she holds a rose, from the MMA composition; these replicas are in the Prado, Madrid, and Louvre, Paris. A preliminary drawing for the MMA portrait was in the collection of Maria del Pilar Carderera in 1929 [ill., Ref. Sanchez Canton 1929]..."

Maria Luisa wears French fashion and very little, maybe no, jewelry as portrayed by Pecheux in 1765.

Keywords:  1765, Pecheux, Maria Luisa de Parma, Bourbon family, Borbon family, Princess, Queen, Italian, straight coiffure, hair jewelry, scoop neckline, bertha, stomacher, elbow length tight sleeves, engageantes, vee waistline, panniers, neck band, order bows, fan


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