Sunday, January 27, 2013

Sunday Salon: Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1704 - 1788)

Maurice Quentin de la Tour Self-Portrait

Maurice  of Saxony

Jean Restout

Study of A Woman's Face

Study for the Portrait of Anne Julie Boetie of St. Leger

Study for the portrait of Joseph Amedee Victor Paris, son of Paris Montmartel.

Marie Fel, 1757

Portrait of Manelli

Study for the portrait of Voltaire

Louis de Silvestre

Study for 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.

Louis XV 

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


  1. Dear Yvette,
    I enjoyed this post and agree with your comments. I think that he was a very sympathetic artist - bringing out the humanity in his subjects without appearing to do so.

  2. Dear Yvette - I've admired that handsome portrait of Louis XV many times without realizing that it was a pastel! One imagines, looking at these incisive portraits, that La Tour engaged his sitters in good conversation. They all look a little bemused, or in a state of heightened awareness.

  3. Thanks, Kirk. De la Tour was a very special person, I think. I just love this work. What technique...

  4. Yes, he must have made them relax somehow, Mark. Probably talk as you say or maybe he hired a musician? I have to say that I am completely smitten with his work.

  5. Hello Yvette,

    Thank you for coming to visit Pine Cones and Acorns! It lead me to you! I am now a follower.

    what a lovely collection of portraits, I am a big fan of De la Tour and had not know that all of these were his.

    Have a wonderful day, Elizabeth

    P.S: I hope that you are enjoying a nice cup of tea or cocoa on this ugly day.

  6. Hi Elizabeth, thanks for dropping by and becoming a Follower. I'm glad you enjoyed my Sunday Salon art post. I generally try to have at least one art centered post a week, though occasionally there are more.
    It all depends on my mood. :)

    I love de la Tour's pastel work.


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