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Anne VALLAYER-COSTER (1744-1818)
A bouquet of tulips, auricula and lilac; and
A bouquet of daffodils and an anemone (a pair)

Each signed and dated "M.de Vallayer Coster 1802"
Watercolor and gouache on brown paper, 12-3/16 x 9-11/16 in. (308 x 245 mm)
Laid down on old mounts (14-3/16 x 11-9/16 in.) and framed in old gilded cove frames with applied ornament (overall 20-3/4 x 17-5/8 x 2-3/4 in.), probably mid-19th c. French.

Anne Vallayer, age 26, sponsored by Cochin, was both agréee and reçue at the Académie royale on July 28, 1770 in proceedings witnessed, among others, by Pierre, Vien, Chardin, Desportes, Vernet, Roslin and Robert. (Kahng/Roland Michel at pp. 16-17 and nn. 32-33.) In 1779, through the intervention of Marie Antoinette, Vallayer obtained a studio at the Louvre, becoming the first woman to have single lodging under the Grand Gallery (id., p. 19). Among her neighbors were Joseph Vernet, her mentor and teacher, and, notably, Gérard van Spaendonck. Her marriage contract to Coster in 1781 was witnessed by the Queen and signed by Pierre, Premier Peintre de Sa Majesté, and the comte d'Angiviller, Directeur général des Bâtiments (id.)

Provenance: Jan Baptist de Graaf (1742-1804, L.1120, his blindstamp lower right corners); Sotheby's, New York, January 27, 1999, lots 176-177; Michael L. Rosenberg

Published: E. Kahng and M. Roland Michel, Anne Vallayer-Coster, Painter to the Court of Marie Antoinette (Yale University Press, 2002), nos. 144 and 145, plates 54 and 55.

Exhibited: Dallas Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Washington, and The Frick Collection, New York, Anne Vallayer-Coster, 2002-3.

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