Portrait of Charles Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, Baron de Lubières (recto); Portrait of Charles Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, Baron de Lubières (verso)

Object Details

Title:

Portrait of Charles Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, Baron de Lubières (recto); Portrait of Charles Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, Baron de Lubières (verso)

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss, 1702 - 1789)

Culture:

Swiss

Date:

about 1760

Medium:

Graphite, pastel with stumping, red gouache (recto); pastel with stumping (verso)

Dimensions:

22 x 18.3 cm (8 11/16 x 7 3/16 in.)

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For his portrait of Charles-Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, the Baron de Lubières, Jean-Étienne Liotard drew on both sides of a thin sheet of cream-colored paper. On the verso surface, the artist delicately applied red and black pastels to achieve richer and more subtle degrees of tone and relief on the finely detailed recto. This novel technique is found in several of Liotard's portraits of the period and derives from the tradition of toning miniatures on ivory on the verso.

A wealthy and erudite amateur, the Baron de Lubières was part of the writer Voltaire's circle in Geneva and contributed several articles to Diderot's Encyclopédie. Replete with fur muff, the fashionably attired sitter is clearly a gentleman of his time. Despite the attention to dress, Liotard depicted his sitter without adornment. The Baron de Lubières is in profile against a plain background with little depth. Nothing is allowed to overshadow the close likeness of the sitter achieved by Liotard. And it is this close likeness, above all else, that is intended to speak of the Baron de Lubières as a man of singular refinement and distinction.

Provenance

Charles-Benjamin de Langes de Montmirail, Baron de Lubières, Geneva

Madame Marie-Charlotte de Langes de Lubières Saladin, Geneva, by descent

Madame Jean-Ferdinand de Grenus, Geneva, by descent

Madame Jean-Louis de Gallatin, Geneva, by descent

Madame Jean Achard-Trembley, Geneva, by descent

Mademoiselle Mathilde Achard, Geneva, by descent

Madame Louis Achard, Geneva, by descent

July 9, 2002

Christie's (London) [sold, Christie's, London, July 9, 2002, lot 71]

Exhibitions
Dessins de Liotard (July 17 to December 14, 1992)
  • Musée d'art et d'histoire de la Ville de Genève, (Geneva), July 17 to September 20, 1992, (Cat. recto; Catalogue by A. de Herdt 106)
  • Musée du Louvre, (Paris), October 15 to December 14, 1992, (Cat. recto; Catalogue by A. de Herdt 106)
A Revolutionary Age: Drawing in Europe, 1770-1820 (January 18 to May 1, 2005)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), January 18 to May 1, 2005, (Cat. recto)
The Secret Life of Drawings (November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), November 23, 2010 to February 13, 2011, (Cat. recto and verso)