soldportrait of charles le brun c1670 circle of john riley

SOLD...Portrait of Charles Le Brun c.1670; Circle of John Riley



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Oil on canvas in carved giltwood frame.
CHARLES LE BRUN (1619-1691). French painter and art theorist, the dominant artist of Louis XIV's reign. After training with Vouet he went to Rome in 1642 and worked under Poussin, becoming a convert to the latter's theories of art. He returned to Paris in 1646. From 1661 he became established in the employ of Louis XIV, in 1662 he was raised to the nobility and named Premier Paintre du Roi, and in 1663 he was made director of the reorganized Academie, which he turned into a channel for imposing a codified system of orthodoxy in matters of art. His lectures came to be accepted as providing the official standards of artistic correctness.
Despite the Classicism of his theories, Lebrun's own talents lay rather in the direction of flamboyant and grandiose decorative effects. Among the most outstanding of his works for the king were the Galerie d'Apollon at the Louvre (1663), and the famous Galerie des Glaces (1679-84) and the Great Staircase (1671-78, destroyed in 1752) at Versailles. His importance in the history of French art is twofold: his contributions to the magnificence of the Grand Manner of Louis XIV and his influence in laying the basis of academicism. Many of the leading French artists of the next generation trained in his studio. Artists over the whole of Europe accepted this style as the paragon of academic and propagandistic art. Lebrun was a fine portraitist and an extremely prolific draughtsman.
JOHN RILEY (1646-1691) began practising painting at a young age, which probably meant he was independently wealthy. He became a fashionable society portrait painter. At the height of his success, in the 1680s, Riley charged 40 for a full-length portrait, a considerable amount of money at this time. In 1689, together with Godfrey Kneller, he was appointed Principal Painter to King William III and Queen Mary.
SIZE: 35 x 30.25 inches inc. frame
PROVENANCE: Collection of Viscount Halifax,
given by him to Madame R. de l' Hopital.
Bought by Dr. William Lindsay Gordon at Christie's, 26 January 1968, lot 73 as by Kneller.
Dr. Gordon was a true conoisseur of the decorative arts; he travelled England collecting antiques with a British heritage especially of the Stuart period.

Internal Ref: 8501

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