Monday, May 14, 2012

Louis Tocque

La comte Carl Gustav Tessin
oil on canvas
80.5 x 64.5 cm
Musee National, Stockholm

Jean Louis Tocque (1696 - 1772) was a French painter, born in Paris. He specialized in portrait painting.
His father, who was also a painter, died in 1710, before Louis was even fourteen. He was eventually brought into the care of another artist, Jean-Marc Nattier. He admired Rigaud and Largillierre and adapted their styles, and Nattier's, to the requirements of his own time. He married Jean-Marc Nattier's daughter Marie Nattier in 1747.

His first major work was the painting of the portrait of Louis XV of France ordered by his great-grandfather Louis XIV, King of France. In 1740 he painted the portrait of Queen of France. From 1737 to 1759 more than fifty of the portraits he painted, were regularly part of the exhibitions of the Salon in Paris . In 1745 he painted the portrait of Infanta Maria Teresa Rafaela of Spain, one year before her death. In 1757 he went to the Russian Empire, where he stayed for two years after being invited by Elizaveta Petrovna, Empress of Russia in order to create a ceremonial portrait of her. This portrait is today part of the permanent collection of the Hermitage Museum of Saint Petersburg in Russia. In the 1760s he traveled to Denmark and created the portraits of the Danish royal family and taught at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen.