MARQUISE DU CHÂTELET
Aemilia de Breteuil conjux Marchionis du Châtelet. Natier pinxit Parisiis. I. I. Haid fecit et excud. Aug. Vind.
Augsburg: J. J. Haid, c.1760
Mezzotint portrait, image and plate mark 310 x 193mm; leaf 381 x 251mm. Lightly foxed and dampstained but this is not visible in the image.
Gabrielle-Émilie Le Tonnelier de Breteuil, marquise du Châtelet (1706–1749) was a key figure in the French enlightenment, correspondent of Maupertuis, Leibniz and Bernoulli. She was the author of a Newtonian essay Institutions de Physique (1740) and translated the Principia into French. Voltaire was her lover and collaborator. Jean Marc Nattier, credited as the painter of the portrait, was one of the most successful and fashionable portrait artists of his day. This portrait is, however, not very like his other portraits of du Châtelet and resembles more the portrait by Marianne Loir (Musée des Beaux Arts, Bordeaux). Johann Jacob Haid founded a publishing house in Augsburg and became known primarily for the series of large mezzotint portraits after his own and other artists’ drawings.
Literature: Nolhac J.-M. Nattier, peintre de la cour de Louis XV, p. 139; Hamel An Eighteenth Century Marquise (1910), p. 179, reproducing this mezzotint but without identifying it.