Circle of Nicolas de Largillierre
Circle of Nicolas de Largillierre

Circle of Nicolas de Largillierre

c. 1705 France

Offered by Timothy Langston

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Portrait of a Gentleman

This painting is similar in format, size and style to several works emanating from Largilliere's studio which were copies of his known larger portraits, such as 'Portrait d'une femme en Diane', Lyons, Musee des Beaux-Arts. Largilliere - like many eighteenth century portrait painters - developed and employed a standard repertory of poses and figure types from which his clients could choose when commissioning their portraits; it does not detract from his originality that he worked in this manner, his paintings still being the most penetrating and realistically characterized of any French artist working in the first half of the eighteenth century.

Many assistants worked within his studio, some employed in either copying or producing individual works. Sometimes these would be small in scale, such as the portrait presented here, meant either as a preparatory image or finished portrait in its own right, all were significantly indebted to the master. Other painters of the period are known to have executed similar works such as Fran├žois de Troy, Hyacinthe Rigaud and Largilliere's chief pupil Jean-Baptiste Oudy. Resplendent in large wig and swathed in a blue silk mantle this portrait probably depicts a wealthy middle class gentleman, a stable client for Largilliere's studio. The confident application of paint and the subtle flesh tones together with an adroit handling of the surface textures all displays the hand of an accomplished assistant.

Following his early training in Antwerp and London, Nicolas de Largilliere (1656-1746) established himself in Paris, becoming one of the most successful portrait painters of the second half of Louis XIV's reign. Although patronized by the Court, most of his sitters came from the wealthy middle classes and by the end of his career he had produced approximately some 1500 portraits. In 1734-5 and again in 1738-42 he was Directeur of the Academie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture; his influence on French portraiture during this period being immense.
Private Collection, England
Dimensions
Height 18.00 inch (45.72 cm)
Width 15.00 inch (38.10 cm)
Stock Code
0134
Medium
Oil on canvas, held in a 19th century ornate style frame
Timothy Langston

Timothy Langston
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