Provenance Research

Marie Louise Elisabeth Vigée-Lebrun (1755-1842)
Portrait of a Young Woman Playing a Lyre, late 1780s
Oil on canvas
35 x 28 1/2 in. (88.9 x 72.4 cm)
Gift of Emilie L. Heine in memory of Mr. and Mrs. John Hauck, 1940.981

A three-quarter-length view of a woman cradling a lyre in her right arm; she plucks the instrument with her left hand. Her hair, though tied with a ribbon, falls below her shoulders. The canvas is oval-shaped.

Alternate Titles:
Comtesse de Fries as "Sappho"
La Comtesse de Fries
Mademoiselle la Comtesse de Fries
Oval Portrait of Mademoiselle de Fries
Portrait of Mme. de Fries


    Tatlet Collection [1]
At least by May 1906-until at least 1911:   (Duveen, London [2])
    (Knoedler & Co., New York, probably sold to [3])
By at least 1940-1949:   Emilie L. Heine, Cincinnati, given with life interest to [4]
1949-present:   Cincinnati Art Museum

[1] W. H. Helm, Vigée-Lebrun: Her Life, Works, and Friendships, London: Hutchinson & Co., 1915, p. 197.

[2] The portrait was shown at Duveen in An Exhibiton of Masterpieces by French Painters of the XVIII Century, May, 1906, no. 19. The gallery later loaned the painting to the exhibition Les Modes: A travers trois siècles, Palais du Domaine de Bagatelle, 1911.

[3] Schneider-Gabrel Galleries provided the provenance of many of Emilie L. Heine's paintings in 1940. Though the inclusion of the painting in their records would suggest the gallery's past ownership, a handwritten notation in the document they prepared suggests the painting actually came from M. Knoedler & Co. In addition, CAM records have always indicated that Heine acquired the painting from Knoedler. See Heine collection file, Schneider-Gabriel booklet, no. 5.

[4] Emilie L. Heine, a collector with a penchant for the Barbizon school, began collecting art around 1912 and continued until the mid 1940s. The majority of the paintings were acquired for her Cincinnati home during the 1920s and 1930s, but specific dates of purchase for most are unknown. Heine gave this painting and numerous others to the CAM with life interest reserved in 1940. The Heine collection came to the CAM after her death in 1949.

Back to the List of Works