Jacques-Louis David painted a portrait of Madame Récamier, one of the most celebrated socialites in Paris during her time. The painting was avant-garde for the 1800s, depicting an Empire line dress with almost bare arms and short hair. It featured Madame Récamier reclining on a Directoire style sofa amidst Pompeian furniture, drawing attention to the “new company” emerging after a coup d’état that sought to exploit values and representations from antiquity.
Despite its innovative design, it is unclear why Jacques-Louis David never completed the painting. Madame Récamier was known as the wife of a Parisian banker who rarely appeared without male suitors. This conspicuous aspect of her life was not captured in the portrait but rather focused on conveying a new world’s values through avant-garde art.
Today, this famous portrait is displayed at Musée du Louvre in Paris for all art enthusiasts to observe and analyze.