François de Troy (1645 – 1730) - Duchesse de Fontanges

24000 €
Period : 18th century
Origin : Oil on canvas
Materials : Paris, France
Signature : François de Troy (1645 – 1730)
Dimensions : H. 41.34 inch, w. 33.46 inch
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François de Troy (1645 – 1730) - Duchesse de Fontanges

The young woman, traditionally identified as Mademoiselle de Fontanges, Louis XIV's mistress, is portrait bust facing forward, her head slightly raised and turned to the left. She seems to dominate the viewer.
She is dressed in a blue satin dress and wrapped in an orange satin stole that shines with its most golden luster.
His hand with graceful fingers with the index and ring fingers spread apart and the middle finger glued to the ring finger keeps slippery fabrics on his chest. Its stole flying in the wind creates an instantaneous movement and the arm bent at the elbow obliquely transforms its static pose.
The perfectly oval face is enlivened by wide gray eyes, a turned-up nose, full cheeks and a mouth that sketches a half-smile. Her powdered and tied hair is studded with many flowers. The young woman wearing no jewelry, the radiance of her youth and her translucent hue are her only ornaments.
The juxtaposition between the icy blue satin and the incandescent orange like the heart and the contours of a flame indicates François de Troy's great talent as a colourist.
Its vibrant and nervous touch enlivens fluid fabrics, making them sparkling and changing. Their surface is worked in quivering brushstrokes, the serifs and the glazes forming an elegant arrangement.
The glazes of the face are treated by superimposing light and transparent layers, producing pearly reflections and a translucent rendering, the technique in which de Troy particularly excels.
The style and treatment of the painting allow us to easily date it to the years 1700-1705. This dating does not allow us to confirm that the portrait was executed during the model's lifetime, who died in 1681. However, it cannot be ruled out that it is a posthumous portrait, commissioned either by the king or by the family of the Duchess, wishing to commemorate the memory of the deceased.

By François de Troy (Toulouse 1645 – Paris 1730)
Early 18th century French School
Oil on canvas in oval format: h. 71 cm, w. 61cm
19th century period frame
Framed dimensions: h. 105 cm, w. 85cm

Although unsigned, like the majority of works by François de Troy, our portrait has been authenticated by the Turquin cabinet as an autograph work by François de Troy.

Provenance :
Paris, Heim-Gairac gallery in 1965.
Thence private collection.
Published in the book on the life of Louis XIV “The Sun King: Louis XIV at Versailles”, Nancy Mitford, London: H. Hamilton, 1966.

Marie-Angélique de Scorailles (or d'Escorailles) de Roussille, Duchess of Fontanges, born July 27, 1661 and died June 28, 1681, was a favorite of Louis XIV.

Francois de Troy (Toulouse 1645 – Paris 1730)
François de Troy, from a family of Toulouse artists, stood out very early on with the creation of coats of arms for the solemn entry of the Prince de Conti into Toulouse in 1662. We then find him in Paris where he continued his training. in the studio of Nicolas Loir, then of Jean I Cotelle, whose daughter he married in 1668. First a history painter, he was approved by the Academy in 1671 then received in 1674 with "Mercure et Argus". Through his frequentation of the studio of Claude Lefebvre, he turned to the art of portraiture, of which he was to be one of the greatest representatives of the end of the reign of Louis XIV and of the Regency. It is believed that thanks to his friendship with Charles Le Brun, the King's first painter, he was put in contact with Madame de Montespan, who made him one of her appointed artists. The interpersonal skills of the impetuous favorite will allow her to come into contact with the royal family and with everything that matters at court and in Paris. He will also be the portrait painter of the royal family of England, exiled in France to the castle of Saint-Germain-en-Laye from 1689. Fine courtier, François de Troy then became attached to the Duke of Maine, beloved bastard of Louis XIV and his influential wife, daughter of the Prince of Condé. Assistant professor in 1692, he was appointed professor at the Academy the following year. He will be its director from 1708 to 1711. He will also be called upon several times by the Parisian aldermen for religious commissions. His son Jean-François (1679 – 1752) collaborated with him at the end of his career before taking up the torch and perpetuating the family glory.


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