Young Woman Powdering Herself
French: Jeune femme se poudrant
ArtistGeorges Seurat
Mediumoil on canvas
Dimensions95.5 by 79.5 centimetres (37.6 in × 31.3 in)
LocationCourtauld Gallery, London

Young Woman Powdering Herself (French: Jeune femme se poudrant) is an oil on canvas painting executed between 1889–90, by the French painter Georges Seurat.[1] The work, one of the leading examples of pontillism, depicts the artist's mistress Madeleine Knobloch.[2] It is in the collection of the Courtauld Institute of Art and on display in the Gallery at Somerset House.

Seurat kept his relationship with his artist's model Knobloch secret.[3] His relationship to the sitter was concealed when it was exhibited in 1890.[2]

Since the painting was publicly shown, the wall behind the young woman had displayed a bamboo picture frame showing a vase of flowers.[2] In 2014 using advanced image technology, it was revealed that Seurat had painted himself at his easel, the object on the wall is now believed to be a mirror.[4] After showing the painting to a friend, Seurat painted over the portrait with a table and flowers.[2][3] Ironically, this concealed portrait is the only known self-portrait made by Seurat.

The painting is currently on loan to the National Galleries of Scotland[5]


  1. ^ "Young Woman powdering Herself". Courtauld Institute of Art. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  2. ^ a b c d Jonathan Jones (24 March 2001). "Portrait of the week no. 50 - Young Woman Powdering Herself, Georges-Pierre Seurat (c. 1890)". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  3. ^ a b Leslie, Tim (4 July 2014). "Before and after: X-ray paintings by Picasso, Van Gogh to reveal their surprising stories". ABC News (Australia). Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  4. ^ Alberge, Dalya (28 March 2014). "Georges Seurat's secret self-portrait sees light of day". London Evening Standard. Retrieved 5 July 2014.
  5. ^ "Scotland's national art collection welcomes significant Georges Seurat loan". Retrieved 16 July 2019.