Portrait of Madame Récamier

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Portrait of Madame Récamier
Jacques-Louis David 016.jpg
ArtistJacques-Louis David
MediumOil on canvas
Dimensions174 cm × 224 cm (68.50 in × 88.58 in)
LocationLouvre, Paris

Portrait of Madame Récamier is an 1800 portrait of the Parisian socialite Juliette Récamier by Jacques-Louis David showing her in the height of Neoclassical fashion, reclining on a Directoire style sofa in a simple Empire line dress with almost bare arms, and short hair "à la Titus."


David began it in May 1800 but may have left it unfinished when he learned that François Gérard had been commissioned before him to paint a portrait of the same model (Gerard's portrait was completed in 1802); on the other hand many David portraits have the same bare background. The pose of a reclining figure looking back over her shoulder was adopted in 1814 by Ingres for his Grande Odalisque. It is now in the Louvre.[1]

In Creatures in an Alphabet, Djuna Barnes wrote of the subject as:

The Seal, she lounges like a bride,

Much too docile, there's no doubt;
Madame Récamier, on side,

(if such she has), and bottom out.[2]

René Magritte also parodied David's painting in his own Perspective: Madame Récamier by David, showing a coffin reclining, now in the National Gallery of Canada.[3]


  1. ^ "Madame Récamier". Louvre. Retrieved 27 April 2013.
  2. ^ Barnes, Djuna (1982). Creatures in an Alphabet. ISBN 978-0385277976.
  3. ^ "catalogue entry". NGC. Archived from the original on 13 October 2006.