Maurice-Quentin de La Tour  
Maurice-Quentin de La Tour

Self-portrait with Lace Jabot (ca 1751)
Maurice-Quentin de La Tour, also spelled Maurice Quentin de Latour (born Sept. 5, 1704, Saint-Quentin, France—died Feb. 17, 1788, Saint-Quentin), pastelist whose animated and sharply characterized portraits made him one of the most successful and imitated portraitists of 18th-century France.

Early in his youth La Tour went to Paris, where he entered the studio of the Flemish painter Jacques Spoede. He then went to Reims, Cambrai (1724), and England (c. 1725), returning to Paris to resume his studies in about 1727.

In 1737 La Tour exhibited the first of a splendid series of 150 portraits that formed one of the glories of the Salon for the next 37 years. He was able to endow his sitters with a distinctive air of charm and intelligence, and he excelled at capturing the delicate play of facial features. Among his subjects were the writers Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Voltaire, the painter Joseph Vernet, and the philosopher Jean Le Rond d’Alembert, as well as Louis XV and his mistress, Mme de Pompadour, of whom he did a life-size portrait (1756). In 1746 he was received into the Academy and in 1751 was promoted to councillor. La Tour was made portraitist to the king in 1750, a position he held until 1773. La Tour retired at age 80 to Saint-Quentin.

Encyclopædia Britannica


Maurice, Comte de Saxe, Marshal of France
Pastel on paper, 59,5 x 49 cm
Gemäldegalerie, Dresden

Jean Le Rond d'Alambert
Pastel on blue paper, 56 x 46 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Monsieur Duval de l'Epinoy
Pastel on paper, 120 x 93 cm
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, Lisbon

Mlle Ferrand Meditating on Newton
Pastel on paper, 73 x 60 cm
Alte Pinakothek, Munich

Louis XV
Pastel on three sheets of blue papeer mounted on canvas, 66 x 58 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Maréchal de Saxe
Pastel on blue paper, 61 x 51 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Portrait of Nicole Richard as Child
Pastel on greyish paper, 454 x 358 mm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Marquise de Pompadour
c. 1755
Pastel on seven sheets of blue paper mounted on canvas, 178 x 2136 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Portrait of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Pastel, 47 x 38 cm
Musée d'Art et d'Histoire, Geneva

Pastel on paper, 65 x 53 cm
Musée de Picardie, Amiens

Pastel on blue paper, 60 x 51 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Philibert Orry de Vignory
c. 1737
Pastel on blue paper, 117 x 90 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris


Portrait of Gabriel Bernard de Rieux

Marie Leszcynska

Retrato del notario Laideguive

A Negro.
c. 1724-1788

Louis, Dauphin of France (Son of Louis XV).
c. 1755

Portrait of Mlle Sallë.
c. 1740

Portrait of Jacques-Charles Aubry

Charles Louis Auguste Fouquet

Madame Du Châtelet at her desk

Portrait of a Lady


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