HYACINTHE RIGAUD | PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, HALF-LENGTH, IN A RED MANTLE
8,000 - 12,000 USD
Property from a Distinguished American Collection
Sold without Reserve
Perpignan 1659 - 1743 Paris
PORTRAIT OF A GENTLEMAN, HALF-LENGTH, IN A RED MANTLE
oil on canvas
canvas: 27½ by 22⅝ in.; 70 by 57.5 cm.
framed: 40 by 34½ in.; 101.6 by 87.6 cm.
The canvas has been relined. The paint layer is stable and the colors remain bright, though some of the browns, particularly in the hair, have worn slightly. The brushwork in the highlights of the costume is particularly well-preserved and remains lively and vivid. Ultraviolet light reveals an old, uneven varnish and evidence of some possible retouchings from an older restoration campaign, though nothing appears distracting or discolored. The painting could benefit from a fresh varnish to brighten it or could be hung as is. Offered in a carved giltwood frame.
The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.
By whom sold, Paris, Drouot, 25 June 1999, lot 56;
Anonymous sale, New York, Christie's, 2 November 2000, lot 193;
V. Prat, Experience and Adventures of a Collector, Tours 1989, pp. 175 and 429 (as Levrac-Tournières);
S. Perreau, Hyacinthe Rigaud: Catalogue concis de l'oeuvre, Languedoc 2013, p. 118, cat. no. P442, reproduced;
A. James-Sarazin, Hyacinthe Rigaud: Catalogue Raisonné, Paris 2016, vol. II, p. 104, cat. no. P.292, reproduced.
This elegant portrait, which can stylistically be dated to circa 1705, beautifully displays Rigaud's hallmark ability to create realistic depictions of features alongside bravura rendering of material and texture. Dézallier d'Argenville, writing in the following century, noted that "when he (Rigaud) painted velvet, satin, taffeta, fur or lace, one had to touch them to realise they were not the real thing. Wigs and hair, which are so difficult to paint, were but a game for him; the hands in his paintings are particularly divine."1
The present work is almost certainly the lost picture which is noted on a photograph in the Centre d'étude et de documentation du Musée du Louvre of a copy of the work in the Gil collection. More recently (see Perreau, under Literature), the present work has been published as the prime version with the Gil collection as a sketchier, second version.
1. Abrégé de la vie des plus fameux peintres, Paris 1745-52 and 1762.