Oil on canvas; 12 by 8 ½ in; 30 x 21.5 cm; held in a decorative gilt frame
Provenance: Private Collection, France
From about 1675 de Troy established a steady portrait practice including ambassadors and royalty, and as a result of such commissions he was able to work continuously in court circles for almost fifty years. Admired for his ability to capture the upper classes and their preoccupation with manners and fashion he was perhaps more importantly said to have the ability to make any woman look beautiful. In the 1690s, de Troy became the principal painter to the court of King James II in exile at Saint-Germain-en-Laye and later, in 1698, he was appointed a Professor of the Académie Royale, become Director in 1708. An experienced engraver as well as a painter he left an impressive body of work and influenced a number of successive artists.
This charming study of a young lady dates to around the beginning of the 18th century. Her manner of dress and the colours adopted suggest an allusion to the Virgin Mary emphasizing the purity and chastity of the sitter.