Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Liotard, Jean-Étienne

Portrait of Maria Frederike van Reede-Athlone at the age of seven
pastel on vellum
22 1/2 x 18 1/2 in.
Getty Center, Los Angeles, USA

"Maria Frederike, the 7 year old daughter of an aristocratic Dutch family, lost in thought, she is composed yet somewhat shy in comparison to her dog, who stares out with unabashed curiosity. "

Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702 – 1789) was a Swiss-French miniature painter.
Liotard was an artist of great versatility, and was one of the most fascinating and idiosyncratic artists of the eighteenth century.
His fame depends largely on his graceful and delicate pastel drawings and his
 painting style intimately captured a tender and realistic representation of his subjects.
He grew a long beard and acquired the habit of dressing as a Turk, earning himself the nickname of "the Turkish painter." 
At the age of seventy-nine, he published a treatise on the principles of painting, in which he explained his belief that painting is and should be a mirror of nature.
He died at Geneva in 1789.