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THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR

Jean-Étienne Liotard
PORTRAIT OF A MAN IN ORIENTAL COSTUME
JUMP TO LOT
203

THE PROPERTY OF A EUROPEAN COLLECTOR

Jean-Étienne Liotard
PORTRAIT OF A MAN IN ORIENTAL COSTUME
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Old Masters Day Sale

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Jean-Étienne Liotard
GENEVA 1702 - 1789
PORTRAIT OF A MAN IN ORIENTAL COSTUME

Provenance

Michel Kogalniceano (1821–91), Paris since 1877, where acquired for him by Georges de Bellio;
Prince Théodore Callimachi (1865–94), Bucharest, since 1891;
By descent to his son Prince Jean Callimachi (1880–1940);
By descent to his wife, Princesse Anne-Marie Callimachi, Pembles Cross Farm, Egerton, Kent;
From whom acquired by Roger de Candolle (1905–89), Geneva, in 1959;
Thence by descent.

Literature

G. Oprescu, Tarile române vazute de artisti franceszi, Bucharest 1926, pp. 12–13, reproduced pl. 2 (the sitter tentatively identified as Alessandro Mavrocordato);
Trivas, MS, 1936, no. 240 “Jeune homme en costume moldave, assis sur une ottomane”;
R. Niculescu, 'Jean-Etienne Liotard à Jassy', in Genava, 1982, vol. XXX, p. 149, reproduced;
R. Loche and M. Roethlisberger, L’opera completa di Liotard, Milan 1978, no. 39, reproduced;
A. Boppe, Les peintres du Bosphore au XVIIIe siècle, Paris 1989, p. 93, reproduced;
R. Loche and M. Roethlisberger, Liotard. Catalogue, Sources et Correspondance, Doornspijk 2008, vol. I, pp. 285–86, cat. no. 77, reproduced vol. II, fig. 104;
N. Truth, Maske und Person: Orientalismus im Porträt des Barok, Munich 2009, cat. no. 194, reproduced in colour p. 213, pl. 1.

Catalogue Note

Liotard is principally known as a pastellist and miniaturist and this is one of only 28 known oil paintings by the Swiss artist. The work probably dates from 1738–40, when Liotard was living in Constantinople accompanying English Grand Tourists he had met in Rome. The gentleman seated on an ottoman wears a green kaftan edged with ermine, which denotes a certain rank and holds a pipe in his left hand. The most closely comparable work is Liotard’s Seated Girl in Turkish Dress with a Tambourine of similar dimensions in the Musée d’art et d’histoire, Geneva, which also blurs the boundary between portraiture and genre painting.1

The sitter was previously believed to be Prince Alexander Mavrocordato, possibly because the princely Callimachi family, to whom this painting once belonged, (see Provenance), were related to the Mavrocordato family. In 1743 Liotard had been invited by Prince Constantine Mavrocardato to make portraits of members of the court and remained with them for 10 months. However, in the Ottoman Empire of the 18th century men all wore beards, so the sitter must be a Western gentleman shown in oriental dress.

1 Inv. no. 9139-8; see Loche and Roethlisberger 2008, vol. I, p. 274, cat. no. 66, reproduced vol. II, fig. 85.

 

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