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Self-portrait with Pierre de la Roche

  • Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
  • Title: Self-portrait with Pierre de la Roche
  • Artist: Robert Levrac-Tournières
  • Origins:
  • Format (cm): 43.2 x 33.3 cm.
  • Format (in): 17 x 13 1/8 in.
  • Material:
  • Last Sale price: 37 500,00
  • Last Sale date:
Self-portrait with Pierre de la Roche

Description

Robert Levrac-Tournières (Caen 1667-1752) Self-portrait with Pierre de la Roche oil on panel 17 x 13 1/8 in. (43.2 x 33.3 cm.)
Anonymous sale; Basan, Paris, 7 and 9 December, 1769, lot 23 (240 livres). Louis François de Bourbon-Conti, prince de Conti; (+), Muzier pére and Pierre Remy, Paris, 8 April-6 June 1777, lot 653 [with a painting by Raoux] (826 livres to Dubois). de Montullé; sale, Le Brun, Paris, 22-30 December, 1783, lot 45 (15 x 12 pouces; 470 livres). M. Louis-Félicien-Joseph Caignart de Saulcy, Paris, by 1878. Private collection, c. 1958, by whom gifted in 1960 to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
PROPERTY FROM THE METROPOLITAN MUSEUM OF ART, SOLD TO BENEFIT THE EUROPEAN PAINTINGS ACQUISITIONS FUND
A. Joseph Dézallier d’Argenville, Abrégé de la vie des plus fameux peintres , Paris, 1762, IV, p. 365. A. Jal, Dictionnaire critique de biographie et d’histoire . 2nd ed. Paris, 1872, p. 1104. H. Jouin, Notice historique et analytique des peintures, sculptures, tapisseries…exposé dans les galeries des portraits nationaux au Palais du Trocadro , exhibition catalogue, Paris, 1879, pp. 128-129. M.L. Bataille in Les peintres français du XVIIIe siècle: Histoire des vies et catalogue des oeuvres , Paris, 1928, I, pp. 231, 240, no. 86.
Paris, Salon, 1704, p. 31, as ‘M. de la Roche & M. Tournier ensemble’. Paris, Palais du Trocadéro, ‘Première exposition français des portraits nationaux [Exposition universelle de 1878] , no. 596, as ‘Robert Tournières and Pierre de la Roche’ Milwaukee, Milwaukee Art Center, The Inner Circle , 15 September-23 October 1966, no. 63. New York, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Portrait of the Artist , 18 January-7 March, 1972, no. 10.
Isaac Sarrabat, 1703, in mezzotint.
A pupil of Bon de Boullongne, Robert Levrac-Tournières married Françoise Lemoyne (mother of the painter François Lemoyne) in 1693. He was agréé in 1701 and received into the Académie, as a portraitist in 1702, and later as a history painter in 1716. “Encouraged by the auspicious success of his small pictures, Tournières abandoned larger compositions and devoted his career to painting small portrait historiés or sujets de caprice in the manner of Schalken or Gerard Dou. His aim was to imitate their beautiful colors, their seductive reflections and this precious fini which must be appreciated,” wrote Dézallier d’Argenville in 1762. Tournières’s charming self-portrait with his friend and patron Pierre de la Roche illustrates just the sort of “small portrait histories” to which Dézallier d’Argenville referred. Precise, miniaturist, and executed with the ‘precious finish’ that very successfully imitates the paintings of Godfried Schalken and other 17th-century Dutch ‘little masters’, the picture was exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1704 and passed through several of the greatest 18th-century art collections in Paris, including that of the Prince de Conti and Jean-Baptiste de Montullé. A lively and informal intimacy characterizes the double portrait, which was reproduced in a mezzotint by Isaac Sarrabat in 1703.

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