The present work compares favourably with a drawing, also thought to be a self-portrait of the artist Pauline Auzou.[1]Born Pauline Desmarquet, she entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Regnault some time before 1793. At the age of eighteen, she exhibited for the first time at the Salon of that year a Bacchante and a Tête d'étude.[2]She also married around this time, usefully for an artist to a paper merchant, Charles-Marie Auzou.

Auzou was able to gain something of a formal art education in the studio of the enlightened artist Jean-Baptiste Regnault. She was taught alongside other women, including Sophie Guillemard, Eugenie Delaporte, Henriette Lorimier, and Caroline Derigny. In Regnault’s studio the boundaries of decorum were broken when the women studied the nude as part of their training.

Auzou went on to become a noted artist, contributing regularly to the salon with history paintings, genre paintings and portraits. In 1806 she was awarded the First Class medal and at the 1810...

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The present work compares favourably with a drawing, also thought to be a self-portrait of the artist Pauline Auzou.[1]Born Pauline Desmarquet, she entered the studio of Jean-Baptiste Regnault some time before 1793. At the age of eighteen, she exhibited for the first time at the Salon of that year a Bacchante and a Tête d'étude.[2]She also married around this time, usefully for an artist to a paper merchant, Charles-Marie Auzou.

Auzou was able to gain something of a formal art education in the studio of the enlightened artist Jean-Baptiste Regnault. She was taught alongside other women, including Sophie Guillemard, Eugenie Delaporte, Henriette Lorimier, and Caroline Derigny. In Regnault’s studio the boundaries of decorum were broken when the women studied the nude as part of their training.

Auzou went on to become a noted artist, contributing regularly to the salon with history paintings, genre paintings and portraits. In 1806 she was awarded the First Class medal and at the 1810 salon presented a portrait painted for Napoleon and his bride, Marie-Louise. She received commissions from the French State, the Société des Arts and the Duchesse de Berry.

Pauline Auzou’s contribution to the artworld was not purely confined to producing works of art; she also kept a studio in which she mainly taught female students, encouraging them as professional artists. She also produced instruction manuals for aspiring artists; her book Têtes d'étudeswas published in Paris by Didot.

Auzou died in Paris in 1835 at the age of sixty. The present miniature would show her around ten years earlier, when her focus had shifted away from the salon and more towards encouraging younger, female artists.

[1] Sold Sotheby’s, London, Old Master Drawings, 4 July 2007, lot 215

[2]The French Salon allowed female artists to exhibit from 1791

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500 Years of British Art