Double Portrait of Two Young Women, c. 1795

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Moitte was a genre painter, lithographer and drawing instructor, who exhibited at the Salon of 1810.

The identities of the young women in Moitte’s portrait drawing are unknown. Another drawing by Moitte, now in the Museum of Fine Arts at Lille, represents the same women embracing. The inscription on the base of the monument reads: Paired from their earliest childhood, they were always friends and remained so for life; the same arrow pierces their hearts. The other inscription, above, MORS ET VITA (life and death), and rose garlands traditionally appear in allegories of friendship. The monogram: MA appears at the center of the oval, which may allude to Marie Antoinette, the wife of King Louis XVI, who was guillotined in 1793. Conceivably, Moitte’s drawing is a memorial to a pair of women in the Queen’s entourage, who met the same fate. Moitte had rendered a portrait drawing of the Dauphin Louis, the son of Marie-Antoinette who died in prison in 1795. He was thus acquainted with the royal family.

Double Portrait of Two Young Women
Artist Life
1750 - 1828
Accession Number
Eugène Rodrigues Sale, Hotel Drouot, 28 & 29 November 1928, no. 163; [Alister Mathews, Bournemouth; until 1967; sold October, to Daniels]; David Daniels, New York (1967-1974; gave to MIA)
Curator Approved

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