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Nicolas de Largillière

LAUDON CASTLE – TREASURE AUCTION!

Los 9 Auktion

Nicolas de Largillière

Estimated price: € 6.000 / 12.000
USD: 6.444 / 12.888 $GBP: 5.071 / 10.141 £
Starting price:  3.000
  • USD: 3.222 €
  • GBP: 2.535 €
  • USD: 3.222 $
  • GBP: 2.535 £
USD: 3.222 $GBP: 2.535 £

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Nicolas de Largillière

Nicolas de Largillière
Paris 1656 – 1746 Paris, attributed
Portrait of the Lieutnant General des Armées DE COURCY with the Order of St Louis ex Coll. DE COURCY
Oil on canvas, relined
146.5 x 114 cm, with frame 173.5 x 142 cm
Titled lower centre on frame

Nicolas de Largillière was an important French painter known for his portraits, in which he captured the elegance and grandeur of the French aristocracy and bourgeoisie. He was born in Paris and spent part of his early life in Antwerp, where he was trained by the Flemish Baroque painter Antoine Goubau. This early influence is clearly visible in Largillière’s detailed and colourful compositions.

In 1675, Largillière moved to London, where he worked briefly with Sir Peter Lely, another important portrait painter of the time. However, he soon returned to Paris, where he was admitted to the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1686. Over the course of his career, he became the leading portrait painter of his time in France, renowned for his ability to imbue his works with vivid and luminous colours. His clients included members of the royal court, the nobility and prominent citizens, cementing his reputation as a prominent artist of the French Baroque period.

In this important portrait, the Lieutenant General of the Armées de Courcy is depicted with the grandeur and authority befitting his military rank. The general stands in front of a dark background, a classic Largillière technique that emphasises the sitter’s presence and highlights his clothing. On the left, a column and a curtain motif lend the composition a touch of classical architecture and theatricality.

The lieutenant general wears a high grey curly wig, a fashionable symbol of status and sophistication in 18th-century France. His red robe is richly embroidered with gold, emphasising both his wealth and his position. He wears a cuirass over this splendid garment, which symbolises his military role. Attached to his cuirass is the medal of the Order of St Louis, an honour awarded for exemplary military service.

His posture radiates confidence and command: his left hand is planted firmly on his hip, giving him a posture of authority. In his right hand he holds a small cane, which he rests on the base of the column, further emphasising his dignified appearance. The fine details of his clothing and the carefully considered composition reflect Largillière’s skill in depicting not only the physical appearance but also the character and status of his subjects.

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