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Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789)-Attrib. "Husband and wife", two small pastels, ca. 1770
FINAL DISCOUNT PRICE= 3900 USD
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These two outstanding pastels (with great likelihood - works of famous 18th-century Swiss painter Jean-Etienne Liotard) were painted (according to the sitters' dresses and hairstyles) in about 1770.
One of their previous owners thought them to be portraits of certain "Willem Graaf (count - B.W.) van Bentinck" and, respectively, his wife. In reality, neither of the two sitters had anything to do with Liotard's otherwise much more known choice - Dutch nobleman and politician Willem, Count Bentinck van Rhoon (1704 London - 1774 The Hague; see our images nr.13-14), whom he portrayed repeatedly during his London sojourn.
Yet, the sitters here could have been Dutch after all: the legend on verso of the husband's portrait is written in Dutch; also, it is known that, in 1756, Liotard got married in Holland and consequently stayed there for some time. On another hand, it is also known that he once more stayed in England in the early 1770s.
Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702 Geneva - 1789 Geneva) was a Swiss-French painter. His father was a jeweller who fled to Switzerland after 1685.
He was born at Geneva and began his studies under Professor Gardelle and Petitot, whose enamels and miniatures he copied with considerable skill. He went to Paris in 1725, studying under J. B. Masse and François Lemoyne, on whose recommendation he was taken to Naples by the Marquis Puysieux. In 1735 he was in Rome, painting the portraits of Pope Clement XII and several cardinals. Three years later he accompanied Lord Duncannon to Constantinople. His eccentric adoption of oriental costume secured him the nickname of the Turkish painter. He went to Vienna in 1742 to paint the portraits of the Imperial Family. Still under distinguished patronage he returned to Paris. In 1744 he visited England, where he painted the princess of Wales in 1753, and went to Holland in 1756, where, in the following year, he married Marie Fargues. She also came from a Hugenot family, and wanted him to shave off his beard. Another visit to England followed in 1772, and in the next two years his name figures among the Royal Academy exhibitors. He returned to his native town in 1776. In 1781 Liotard published his Traité des principes et des règles de la peinture. In his last days he painted still lifes and landscapes. He died at Geneva in 1789.
Liotard was an artist of great versatility, and though his fame depends largely on his graceful and delicate pastel drawings, of which "La Liseuse", "The Chocolate Girl", and "La Belle Lyonnaise" at the Dresden Gallery and "Maria Frederike van Reede-Athlone at Seven" at the J. Paul Getty Museum are delightful examples, he achieved distinction by his enamels, copperplate engravings and glass painting. He also wrote a "Treatise on the Art of Painting", and was an expert collector of paintings by the Old Masters. Many of the masterpieces he had acquired were sold by him at high prices on his second visit to England. The museums of Amsterdam, Bern, and Geneva are particularly rich in examples of his paintings and pastel drawings. A picture of a "Turk seated" is at the Victoria and Albert Museum, while the British Museum owns two of his drawings. The Louvre has, besides twenty-two drawings, a portrait of Lieutenant General Hrault as well as an oil painting of an English merchant and a friend dressed in costumes and entitled !Monsieur Levett and Mademoiselle Helene Glavany in Turkish Costumes!. A portrait of the artist is to be found at the Sala di pittori, in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence. While his son also married a Dutch girl, the Rijksmuseum inherited an important collection of his drawings and paintings (*courtesy of Wikipedia).
Our images nr.16-22 show several other pastel portraits by Liotard that were offered at the international art auction market in the last years.
Provenance: auction house "Galerie Fischer", Luzern / Switzerland, June 10, 2009, lot 1077 (see our image nr.15).
Condition: fairly good; both are framed in identical, magnificent, Neoclassical frames
Creation Year: ca 1770
Measurements: UNFRAMED:13,0x13,0cm/5,1x5,1in FRAMED: 19,0x17,0cm/7,5x6,7in
Object Type: Framed pastels
Style: Portrait Miniatures
Technique: both: pastel on vellum
Inscription: verso of the husband's portrait: erroneous legend
Creator: Jean-Étienne Liotard
To see other works by this artist click on the name above!
Creator Dates: 1702 Geneva-1789 Geneva
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