Sophie Frémiet Portrait for Getty

Sophie Frémiet, Portrait of a Woman, 1818. Getty Museum

Extending a string of acquisitions of work by women artists, the Getty Museum has added a portrait by Sophie Frémiet, a pupil of Jacques-Louis David and wife to sculptor François Rude. It becomes the first painting by Frémiet in an American museum. Though the sitter remains unknown, this portrait and another, of the artist's sister, constituted Frémiet's Brussels Salon debut (1818) at the age of 21. The objects on the table are a translucent bonnet and opera glasses.

Christie's auctioned the painting for $37,800 in May 2023. It was then only "attributed to" the artist. More recently it was on offer at Robilant + Voena as a work by Frémiet. The painting measures 63-7/8 by 46-5/8 in. 

Frémiet already has an unusual connection to the Getty collection. David commissioned her to make a copy of his painting The Farewell of Telemachus and Eucharis. Frémiet's copy was so faithful that it came to be taken for a repetition by David himself—until the original painting turned up in Uruguay. The Getty purchased David's painting in 1987. 

Portrait of a Woman is on view in the Getty Center's gallery S204.