Marie-Pauline Lescuyer Coeffier

Portrait of a Child , 1849
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated middle right
Dimensions: 47.5 x 39.5cm
With frame: 67 x 61 cm

Marie Pauline Adrienne Coeffier, née Lescuyer, married Louis Edouard Coeffier in 1833. Oil painter and pastel artist, she studied at Léon Coignet’s studio.

She specialized in portraiture, and exhibited at the Salons from 1849 to 1868. His talent as a portrait painter places him alongside the greatest. Marie Coeffier became official painter in 1856, when she produced the portrait of Napoleon III in 1856. Those of Empress Eugénie in 1863, 1857, 1859 and 1861 followed. In addition to court faces, she dabbled in mythological and religious scenes.

This portrait depicts a young child. The artist has her model pose so that she appears frontally to the viewer.

Its stature and its attribute, a small hunting rifle, indicate that it is an academic portrait, commissioned by an aristocratic hunting family.

Marie Coeffier dwells on the details with subtlety. It gives shine and shine to the fabrics, whose patterns energize the whole and contrast with the softness of the child’s face.

Her black hair frames her ebony eyes, which the painter enlivens with a touch of light. Her rosy cheeks echo the bright colors of her clothing, whose fine lace collar isolates the face to give it its full place.


• Emile Bellier de la Chavignerie, Louis Auvray, “General dictionary of artists of the French school, from the origin of the arts of drawing up to 1882 inclusively: painters, sculptors, architects, engravers and lithographers”, Volume 1, Paris , Librairie Renouard, 1882, p. 150.


• National Center for Plastic Arts