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Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne the Younger

Portrait of Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne the Younger

1772

Oil on canvas

Framed: 58.6 x 51.9 x 5.7 cm (23 1/16 x 20 7/16 x 2 1/4 in.); Unframed: 37.4 x 44.1 cm (14 3/4 x 17 3/8 in.)

Bequest of Dr. Paul J. Vignos, Jr. 2011.49

Fun Fact

Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne was a sculptor--there's one of his works in the CMA's collection.

Description

This signed portrait reinterprets a well-known pastel by Maurice-Quentin de La Tour of the important French sculptor Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne the younger (1704–1778). The sculptor, seen toward the end of his life, appears in working garb. His close-cropped grey hair, frank, observant stare, and bemused smile all demonstrate the closeness of the young painter to the elder sculptor. The work also speaks to Vigée-LeBrun’s interest in naturalistic portraiture (as opposed to her more formal, commissioned portraits), and—in the handling of the paint as well as her source image—her debt to pastel painting, her original medium.

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