Black and white chalks, red, pink and yellow pastel on light brown paper
Image: 27.5 x 20.8 cm (10 13/16 x 8 3/16 in.); Sheet: 49.4 x 38.6 cm (19 7/16 x 15 3/16 in.)
Severance and Greta Millikin Purchase Fund 2021.133
Simon Vouet drew portraits of courtiers at the express request of King Louis XIII, who wanted to observe him in order to learn how to draw.
Simon Vouet characterized this sitter, likely an advisor to the court of King Louis XIII, with a spontaneous pose and specific facial expression. The man’s distinguishing features are his deeply lined, almond-shaped eyes, and unruly head of hair, whose top has been flattened forward by the hat, which he holds to his side. Vouet introduced a more naturalistic mode of portraiture to France when he returned to Paris in 1627 after fourteen years in Rome. His typically frank presentations dissolved the space between the artist and sitter.
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