Pastel on parchment
Unframed: 38 x 46.3 cm (14 15/16 x 18 1/4 in.)
John L. Severance Fund 1978.54
Catalogue raisonné: Roethlisberger 349
Jean-Etienne Liotard created portraits of eight other members of the Tronchin family around the same time as this pastel.
This pastel drawing depicts François Tronchin, a prominent figure in his native Geneva and an impassioned patron of the arts. The table before Tronchin features a book, mathematical instruments, and papers that indicate his interests in architecture and music. Rembrandt's Lady in Bed, a painting that the Dutch master created around 1645 (today in the collection of the Scottish National Gallery) and the most highly prized painting in Tronchin's collection, rests on an easel nearby. Liotard considered the portrait of Tronchin among his finest works, and the meticulous rendering of the sitter's powdered wig, transparent flesh, and lace cuffs suggest the skill he had developed in pastel at this time.
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