Portrait of Maria Frederike van Reede-Athlone at Seven Years of Age

Object Details

Title:

Portrait of Maria Frederike van Reede-Athlone at Seven Years of Age

Artist/Maker(s):

Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss, 1702 - 1789)

Culture:

Swiss

Date:

1755 - 1756

Medium:

Pastel on vellum

Dimensions:

54.9 x 44.8 cm (21 5/8 x 17 5/8 in.)

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Changing attitudes towards children and the emergence of a large middle class in eighteenth-century Europe increased the demand for portraits of children such as this one. Maria Frederike, the seven-year-old daughter of an aristocratic Dutch family, looks off to the side in a three-quarter view. Lost in thought, she is composed yet somewhat shy in comparison to her dog, who stares out with unabashed curiosity. With startling naturalism, Jean-Étienne Liotard captured her youth and beauty, setting off her eyebrows, lashes, and lustrous hair against her soft, fresh complexion.

Liotard developed remarkable technical skills in the difficult medium of pastels. Brilliantly describing surfaces and defining volume through subtle gradations of color, he depicted forms, textures, and the play of light with great immediacy. He favored using pastels, especially for portraits of children, because they could be manipulated with greater speed and ease, had no odor, and allowed for frequent interruptions.

Provenance
1755/1756 -

Louise Isabella Hermeline (van Wassenaar) van Reede-Athlone, commissioned from the artist, 1755/1756; by inheritance or by gift to her daughter, Maria Frederike (van Reede-Athlone) van Heiden-Reinestein.

- 1807

Maria Frederike (van Reede-Athlone) van Heiden-Reinestein, 1748 - 1807, by inheritance within the van Heiden-Reinestein family.

1807 - 1983

Van Heiden-Reinestein Family (The Hague, The Netherlands), sold through S. Nystad Oude Kunst B.V. (The Hague, Netherlands) to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1983.

Exhibitions
Tentoonstelling van pastels uit drie eeuwen (1934) (Cat. 27)
  • Willet Holthuysen Museum, (Amsterdam), 1934
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