Portrait of Lafayette (?)

Accession Number

Portrait of Lafayette (?)

Louis Boilly

Object Creation Date

Medium & Support
pastel on vellum

8 11/16 in. x 6 3/8 in. ( 22 cm x 16.2 cm )

Credit Line
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Irving F. Burton

Label copy
Gallery Rotation Fall 2013
Louis-Leopold Boilly
France, 1761–1845
Portrait of Lafayette (?)
Pastel on vellum
Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Irving F. Burton, 1973/2.41
Julien-Leopold Boilly
France, 1796–1874
Portrait of a Lady, possibly Madame Boilly (née Adelaide Leduc)
Black and red chalk, heightened with white chalk, on brown paper
Museum purchase, 1972/2.375
Unlike the formal engraved portraits by Karl Dujardin (1622–1678) and Laurent Cars (1699–1771) on the other side of the case, which were disseminated in prints and thus available to a wide audience, these two drawn portraits of middle-class sitters are intimate in character. Both are remarkable for the rendering of textures and attention to detail, as well as for the treatment of light. The portrait of the man, perhaps the Marquis de Lafayette (1757–1834), a hero of both the American and the French revolutionary wars, was created by the remarkable portraitist and genre painter Louis-Leopold Boilly. Although the sitter’s blue coat and the background may have been retouched at some point, the face retains its integrity. The better-preserved portrait of the woman was completed by Boilly’s eldest son, the painter, lithographer, and engraver Julien-Leopold Boilly. The sitter is traditionally identified as the artist’s mother, Adelaide-Francoise-Julie Leduc, who would have been thirty-six years old at the time the portrait was completed.

Subject matter
It has been proposed that the sitter of this portrait is the Marquis de Lafayette, the hero of the American and French revolutionary wars.

Physical Description
This portrait of a middle aged man is shown in a bust-length view, looking at the viewer, much as if this were a miniature on ivory. The man wears a dark blue coat with a white collar and cravat.

Primary Object Classification

Primary Object Type

Additional Object Classification(s)

Collection Area

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