Étude de tête de femme, painted by Nicolas Charlet (1792-1845) in 1827. Compare the similarities between the portrayed woman and Harriet Smithson (Berlioz’s first wife)during those years, when she was in the peak of her career. Berlioz mentions Charlet in Les Soirées de l’orchestre (1852). See the dixième soirée, by the middle of the chapter. Thus, we tend to think that it is not improbable that the model could have been Harriet herself. It is just a curiosity, not science or dogma. Oil on canvas to be auctioned by Arcadja.
The first of these portraits, (both of them as shown in www.hberlioz.com) which shows Harriet in c. 1828 is by G. Maile, after an oil painting by Claude-Marie Dubufe. The painting is in the Musée Magnin in Dijon, France. The second one belongs to a private owner.