In this painting Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn is posing in a large and elaborate blue and lace gown. This wealthy woman is leaning against a gold satin chair which has a gold embroidered white shawl draped over it. She has her hair up, with expensive white and gold jewelry on, and a small smile on her face.
Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn was a princess, and her large amount of wealth is made apparent by the artist highlighting her clearly expensive gold, enamel and pearl jewelry. In addition, her importance is emphasized by the fact that she is wearing a very expensive ball gown and is leaning on a chair with a shawl which both have excessive detail and lots of gold. Her only visible hand wears what seems to be a colorful wedding ring.
The title of this painting, Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn, Princesse de Broglie (1825–1860), is not artistic in any way. However, the title gives a lot of information about the subject of the painting. The artist, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (French, Montauban 1780–1867 Paris), was a significantly famous artist in France during the 1800’s. The title shows that the subject of this painting was a very well connected and significant figure, and that she was a princess of France, so it is inevitable that a famous artist such as Jean Auguste paint her portrait.
Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn, Princesse de Broglie (1825–1860) is a painting meant to display the wealth and glory of this very powerful woman. She is surrounded and clothed in her most expensive belongs with a lazy and content smile that almost looks condescending. During this time many wealthy people had portraits of themselves painted so that they could be remembered as successful and handsome. Although Jean Auguste was a renowned artist during the nineteenth century, this particular painting has no artistic or deeper meaning other than the clear shyness and power of the Princess.
Pauline de Broglie was the wife of Albert de Broglie, who served multiple terms as the Prime Minister of France, when Prime Ministers in France has just become the powerful government figures. Also, this was soon after the French Revolution where the French tried and failed to implement other types of government. This explains the massive amounts of wealth displayed in the painting, and the overall importance of this piece of art in the 1800’s. During this time, there was also an Impressionist movement in art (depicting the impression of the scene on the artist), followed by a Post- Impressionist movement.
In conclusion, this is a style of painting that was used to paint portraits of many wealthy and important figures, usually government officials, surrounded by and wearing their finest possessions. This is the case in Joséphine-Éléonore-Marie-Pauline de Galard de Brassac de Béarn, Princesse de Broglie (1825–1860), displayed in her glory and beauty by the famous Jean Auguste during a time of great artistic and political development in France.