Maurice of Saxony
Study of A Woman's Face
Preparation to the Portrait of Anne Julie Boetie of St. Leger
Preparation to the portrait of Joseph Amedee Victor Paris, son of Paris Montmartel
Marie Fel, 1757
Portrait of Manelli
Preparation to the portrait of Voltaire
Louis de Silvestre
Preparation to the portrait of Mrs. Rougeau
Isabelle de Charriere, 1767
Portrait of Unknown Man
Maurice Quentin de la Tour (1704 - 1788) was a long-lived, supremely gifted Rococo painter who specialized in pastel portraits of the many notables of his day.
His gift, I would say, was in being able to bring these 18th century figures to life in the eyes of a modern beholder. Unlike many portraitists of his day, he fashioned flesh and blood drawings and paintings, many of whose sitters seem quite modern in their attitudes and expressions. Proving once again, I suppose, that humans have always been the same, it's just the minutiae that changes.
These drawings stopped me dead in my tracks one fine day as I was looking about. I am very fond of pastels most especially because of my inability and fear of them. I never could master the damn things. They are forever a mystery to me.
But look at de la Tour's work. Is it not amazing?
These people, with just a change of clothing and hair gear might walk off the canvases and into today's world without hesitation.
Source of these works: Wiki Paintings Art Encyclopedia