portrait of queen marie of france c1760 studio or circle of maurice quentin de la tour

Portrait of Queen Marie of France c.1760; Studio or Circle of Maurice Quentin de la Tour.


Price

£4,985
| $6,638 USD | €5,648 EUR


Item Ref

CJ2

Description

NOTE: the portrait is under glass, removed for the photographs, apart from image 4 which shows the portrait framed with, alas, some reflections showing.
This highly accomplished pastel portrait of the French queen in later life is typical of the style of de la Tour; by the standards of the day, relaxed and informal...despite the regal clothing ..the queen has a slight smile as she turns her head to regard the viewer.
It is within a replacement frame of the correct style and period.
The portrait is inscribed, lower left, 'Couvent de N D' (Convent of Notre Dame) and was probably created as a gift from the queen to accompany a bequest to the convent, using the famous pastel portrait of her by de la Tour, now in the Louvre, as a primary source but with more regal clothing.
MARIE LECZINSKA (1703-1768), princess of Poland, queen of France (1725-1768), daughter of King Stanislaw of Poland (later Duke of Lorraine) and Katarzyna Opalinska, born near Trzebnica, in Silesia.
Marie Leczinska and King Louis XV were married in Fontainebleau on the 5th of September 1725. She was no beauty and was 22, Louis was 15. However Marie spoke six languages, danced gracefully and had received a full education. The first years of the marriage were happy. Louis XV, when he was 23 years old, became bored of Marie who was exhausted from her many pregnancies (10). The king thus found his first mistress, the Countess of Mailly, who became the famous Marquise de Pompadour. Unfamiliar with the court etiquette Marie had also lacked an interest in politics, which did not please the King. Slowly, Louis XV who had sincerely loved his queen, neglected her completely. She remained however very attached to him.
Marie Leczinska lived in Versailles, surrounded by an intimate group of courtiers, with her own salon like those in fashion at the time, adapting to the morals and customs of the Court, playing her role and enjoying a degree of freedom unknown to any other Queen of France. . The people referred to her as the "good queen" because of her philanthropy, her goodness and her generosity towards the needy.
MAURICE QUENTIN DE LA TOUR (1704 - 1788) was initially apprenticed as a painter, but was attracted to the immediacy and rapid execution of pastel. By the late 1720s he had broken into the Parisian art market and in 1735, established his reputation as a portraitist with a pastel of Voltaire. This portrait announced the liveliness, informality, and virtuoso technique that would characterise his work. Two years later, La Tour made another splash with the only pastels exhibited at the Salon: a self-portrait and a portrait of artist François Boucher's wife.
Finished pastels emerged as a format for elite portraiture in France in the late 1600s. In the 1700s, Maurice-Quentin de La Tour was among the most celebrated and accomplished pastel portraitists. His success led to commissions from the royal family, the French court, the bourgeoisie, and artistic and intellectual circles.
Toward the end of his immensely successful career La Tour had amassed a substantial fortune and founded an art school and several charitable organisations.
SIZE: 39 x 34 inches framed; 31 x 25 inches unframed.
PROVENANCE: Welsh private collection.

Internal Ref: CJ2


Dimensions

Height = 99 cm (39")
Width = 86 cm (34")
Depth = 6 cm (3")


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