Jacques-André-Joseph Aved

Dates1702 - 1766

If his father hadn't died when he was a child, Jacques-André-Joseph Aved might never have seen Dutch art. After his mother remarried a captain in the Dutch guards, the family left France for Amsterdam. Aved's exposure to Dutch art led to his development of the "psychological portrait." This innovation signaled a shift away from the mythologizing style of contemporaries like Nicolas de Largillière.

By the age of sixteen, Aved was traveling through the Netherlands drawing portraits at fairs. After short stints in the Amsterdam studios of French artists, he arrived in Paris at nineteen. Working in a fashionable portrait painter's studio, Aved met Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, Jean-Baptiste Perroneau, and Jean-Étienne Liotard. Most important, he began a long, cherished friendship with Jean-Baptiste-Siméon Chardin. Together they shared the goal of capturing "truth" rather than depicting surface appearances alone. Many of Aved's portraits were attributed to Chardin during the 1800s.

As a Parisian, Aved became a successful and independent artist, a member of the Académie de Peinture, and one of the foremost connoisseurs of his day. He owned a large, important collection that included paintings by or attributed to Rembrandt van Rijn, Gerrit Dou, Nicolaes Berchem, Anthony van Dyck, Domenichino, Tintoretto, Guercino, Claude Lorrain, Nicolas Poussin, and others, along with an extensive collection of Rembrandt etchings.