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Portrait of a Gentleman

Portrait of a Gentleman

Portrait of a Gentleman - Circa 1700

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Original 18th century engraving representing the portrait of a gentleman with a letter in his hand, after the oil portrait by Nicolas de Largillière, of unknown author, executed around 1700, its style is very reminiscent of the work of Gérard Edelinck (1640 Antwerp - 1707 Paris). Engraving on paper glued to cardboard, with wrinkled parts and small imperfections (see photos), which do not detract from the beauty of this work of great quality.

Nicolas de Largillière, born in Paris on October 20, 1656 and died there on March 20, 1746, was a master of the Rococo period and one of the defining figures in the 17th and 18th century art scene in France. Together with Hyacinthe Francois Rigaud he dominated the portrait art of his time and created a rich oeuvre, which is still reproduced in art prints and fascinates art lovers worldwide.

Largillière received his artistic training in the Netherlands and England, two regions that played a crucial role in his artistic development. In the Netherlands, he discovered the works of the masters Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck, whose impressive compositions and vibrant color palette exerted a profound influence on his own style. While in England, Largillière worked as an assistant to the famous painter Peter Lely, an experience that gave him valuable insight into the professional art scene. After studying under the tutelage of Alexander Goubau in Antwerp, Largillière joined the Guild of St. Luke in 1673. His career then took him back to London, where he lived for four years until the persecutions of the Catholics finally forced him to leave England. This forced move brought Largillière back to Paris, a city he left only briefly when he was invited by James II of England to the accession to portray the king and queen.

Largillière had an impressive career. In 1705 he was appointed professor, in 1738 he rose to director, and in 1743 he finally became chancellor of the prestigious Paris Academy. He left behind an impressive number of portraits, mainly of private individuals. These works are notable for their vivid, sometimes mannered depiction, florid coloration, and witty treatment. Today they are often the subject of fine art prints that bring their beauty and sophistication to a wider audience.

Largillière focused mainly on portraits, history paintings, and still lifes. He portrayed almost exclusively members of the court and the upper middle class. This focus on the upper class gave his works a special glamor and a unique elegance that are still captured in art prints today and delight art lovers around the world. Despite the passage of more than two centuries since his death, Largillière remains a central figure in the history of French art, and his works remain an integral part of the global artistic landscape.

Artist: Unknown.
Medium: Line engraving.
Condition: Good general condition.
Dimensions: 25 x 20 cm. / 9 ¾ x 8 in. (view)
Frame: 45 x 37 cm / 17 ¾ x 14 ½ in. Wood, very good condition.
Origin: France.
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