LEMOYNE, Jean-Baptiste, fils
Madame de la Popelinière-Mondran
This is a sculpture in plaster with a patina to imitate the terracotta so beloved of Toulousans, carved by the great Parisian sculptor Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne (1704-1778) and sent by the artist himself to the Academy of Toulouse as a reception piece. Marie-Thérèse de la Popelinière was the daughter of Mondran, the town planner of Toulouse, a great collector and founder of the Academy of Arts of Toulouse. A refined young woman, a musician able to both sing and act, she married la Popelinière, Farmer General and an accomplished libertine, himself a great collector. Lemoyne chose to represent her in the characteristic three quarter profile which gives an impression of spontaneity with an air of intelligent beauty ‘à la française’, in line with the Rococo (Fr : rocaille) or ‘Louis XV’ tastes of the time.
To please the Academy of Toulouse and perhaps find new patrons there, Lemoyne sent the portrait of a personality known to all, daughter to one of the most illustrious members of this assembly. The portrait was seized during the revolutionary period and transferred to the Museum which opened in 1793.