Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Louis Tocque

Portrait of Ekaterina Golovkina
Oil on canvas
51x43 cm
Hermitage Museum, Russia

Jean Louis Tocqué (1696 - 1772) was a French painter. He specialized in portrait painting. He was born in Paris. His father, who was also a painter, died before Louis was even fourteen. He was eventually brought into the care of another artist.

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 Marie Leszczyńska, 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 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. 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.

In this painting, Ekaterina wears a cyan velvet dress with a ruffled modesty piece with a rose and neck band for decoration. Her hair is cut very, very close.