Mary Victoria Leiter, Lady Curzon (1870-1906)
Alexandre Cabanel (Montpellier 1823 – Paris 1889)
Art / Oil paintings
1887 (signed and dated)
Oil on canvas
1295 x 940 mm (51 x 37 in)
Place of origin
ParisOrder this image
Kedleston Hall, Derbyshire (Accredited Museum)
On show at
What was the height of fashion in Paris? Take a look at what Mary Victoria Leiter, Lady Curzon was wearing at the age of 17.
Oil painting on canvas, Mary Victoria Leiter, Lady Curzon (1870-1906) by Alexandre Cabanel (Montpellier 1823 – Paris 1889), signed and dated, bottom left ALEX CABANEL 1887. A three-quarter-length portrait of a young woman, seated, facing, gazing at the spectator, leaning over slightly to the left on her right arm, wearing a white dress with a pale mauve sash. Cabanal was, with Bouguereau, the foremost academic, or pompier, of the Second Empire and afterwards, dominating the annual Salons. He painted relatively few portraits, so that when Levi Leiter, the subject’s father, got him to paint the daughter he was launching on European society, it revealed both the power of his money and where his ambitions for her lay. Accepted in lieu of inheritance tax by HM Government from the estate of the sitter’s daughter Lady Alexandra Metcalfe.
The portrait depicts the sitter at the age of 17, when she and her parents were visiting Paris, where all three were painted by Cabanel (the portraits of her parents remain in the US); hung in the sitter's parents' home in Washington at the time of her marriage; presumably was left to the sitter's youngest daughter, Lady Alexandra Curzon (1904-95), wife of Major Edward Metcalfe; on loan to the NT at Kedleston Hall since March 1996; following her death accepted in lieu of capital taxes by HM Government (tax satisfied £12,600) and allocated to the National Trust for display at Kedleston in April 1998
Kedleston Hall, The Scarsdale Collection (acquired with the help of the National Heritage Memorial Fund and transferred to The National Trust in 1987)
Makers and roles
Alexandre Cabanel (Montpellier 1823 – Paris 1889), artist of original