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Enquiry from Online Galleries regarding "Studio of Nicolas de Largilliere (1656-1746 Paris) Portrait of a Lady and Child, holding a portrait of her Husband"
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Dimensions: 133 x 114cm (without frame)
Provenance: Private collection, Fontainebleau, France
Nicolas de Largilliere (1656-1746) was an unrivalled portrait painter to the French bourgois aldermen, lawyers and financiers of Paris and was a master of the family group portrait. He was born in Paris and moved to Antwerp as a child where his father worked as a hat maker. Largilliere was apprenticed to an obscure still-life painter, Antoine Goubaud by 1668 and became a master in 1673. He left Antwerp for England just before his eighteenth birthday and was employed to do some minor work by the superintendent of the King's buildings (which included the restoration of Windsor Castle) and was encouraged by the Court portrait painter Sir Peter Lely. Largilliere seems to have left England in 1679 during a wave of anti-catholic persecution. Many of his portraits during his first years back in France strongly reflect the influence of Flemish court painting, especially as practised by Lely in England. Largilliere was received into the Academie in 1686 with his portrait of Charles le Brun of 1686, now in the Louvre. Largilliere was known for his use of more informal poses in his work and his use of a rich palette of colour to create texture and atmosphere. He had an ability to infuse his work with wit and intimacy using elements such as mythological references or as in the case of this family portrait, the little pet spaniel trying to jump up to join the family group and the young child gesturing towards his absent father.
Alan Wintermute ' The French Portrait 1550-1850', 1996.