Mademoiselle d'Orléans Taking a Harp Lesson (exh.1791). Jean Antoine Théodore Giroust (French, 1753-1817). Oil on canvas. Dallas Museum of Art.
Giroust’s large and elegant conversation piece à l’anglaise is a masterpiece of portraiture at the start of the French Revolution. It depicts the daughter of Louise Philippe Joseph de Bourbon, Duc d’Orléans, taking a music lesson from her governess Madame de Genlis, while her English companion, Mademoiselle Paméla, looks on. The portrait was exhibited at the newly democratized Salon, where its presence was far from fortuitous.