Charles Baziray – Portrait of a Magistrate – 1747
Waist-length portrait of an unidentified magistrate and adviser to the Parliament of Brittany. Under the Kingdom of France’s Old Regime, parliaments dealt with matters relating to public order, royal legislation, finances, assistance to the population and public education. They also served as presidial courts of appeal and tried serious criminals. The nobles come under the jurisdiction of parliament.
The figure is shown standing, wearing the traditional attire of his office. A white-gloved hand holds a black hat, two important status symbols.
This oil on canvas painting has undergone professional restoration. During the cleaning process, the artist’s signature and date were discovered on the reverse: "Baziray pinxit 1747". Its magnificent gilded wood and plaster frame (French Regency-Louis XV period) has also been restored.
Charles Baziray was a French portrait painter, student or follower of Nicolas de Largillière. Born in Paris around 1690, he worked as a painter from 1707 to 1713 at the Manufacture Royale des Gobelins in Paris, under the direction of Pierre Mathieu, the King’s painter. From 1718, Baziray moved to Brittany, notably to Nantes, Rennes and Saint-Malo, where he enjoyed a certain degree of notoriety among the high society of the region and was commissioned numerous portraits. Married in 1726 to Anne Penet, daughter of the Lord of La Pallière, Baziray died on January 29, 1757 at the Château de Rosanbo, property of the wealthy and influential Le Peletier family. He is buried in the Lanvellec parish church, near the castle.
Sources: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists; Archives de France.
Artist: Charles Baziray (ca.1690-1757).
Signed and dated on back “Baziray Pinxit 1747”.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition.
Dimensions: 82,5 x 65 cm. / 32 ½ x 25 ½ in.
Frame: 102 x 86 cm. / 40 x 34 in. Ornate gilded wood and plaster frame, excellent condition.