Object Image

Princess Pauline de Metternich

Princess Pauline Sander (1836-1921) was the wife of Prince Richard Metternich, the Austro-Hungarian Ambassador at the court of Napoleon III from 1860 to 1871. Known as the 'ambassadress of pleasure', she was a glamorous figure in Parisian high society during the Second Empire. A pioneer of fashion, she promoted new styles of dress, including the crinoline.

The Princess had already been painted by the society portraitist Franz Xaver Winterhalter, and by the French seascape artist Eugène Boudin. However, Degas, who was still a young artist, did not paint his portrait of the Princess from life. Instead, he made a partial copy of a full-length visiting card photograph of her and her husband taken ...

c. 1865
Oil on canvas
41.0 x 29.0cm
Image and text © The National Gallery, London, 2024

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