Portrait of Antoine Français, called Antoine Français de Nantes
Comte de Nantes / David

Antoine Français was a high-ranking tax officer under Napoleon. David probably made this portrait to court him as an ally in the imperial administration.

David shows his sittter from an unusually low viewpoint, emphasizing the courtly splendor of his costume. The narrow format gives him an imposing look as he gazes down confidently, even arrogantly.

Français had served in the revolutionary government and was well-read in the classics. In 1808 Français had consulted David on a redesign of playing cards, a lucrative source of tax revenue for the Empire.