Dec 17, 2007

Portrait of Anne Louis Goislard de Montsabert, Comte de Richbourg-le-Toureil

Portrait of Anne Louis Goislard de Montsabert, Comte de Richbourg-le-Toureil


Nicolas de Largillière

(French, 1656-1746)

Oil on canvas

Framed: 108.5 x 91.5 x 11 cm (42 11/16 x 36 x 4 5/16 in.); Unframed: 80.6 x 63.8 cm (31 3/4 x 25 1/8 in.)

Mr. and Mrs. William H. Marlatt Fund 1970.31


By positioning the figure close to the picture plane and engulfed in a swirl of drapery, Nicolas de Largillière created a remarkably informal likeness of the 26-year-old Goislard. This impression is enhanced by the sitter’s open shirt and the drift of wig powder that dusts the shoulders of his velvet doublet. Warm hues and thick brushstrokes reveal the artist’s study of earlier Flemish painters, notably Anthony van Dyck. Despite his youth and seeming nonchalance, Goislard was a figure of prominence. He may have commissioned this work to commemorate his appointment to the Parlement, or governing council, of France in 1732, or earning the title Lord of Montsabert the following year.

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