Important portrait of a young woman depicted half-length turned three-quarters, her face looking at the viewer.
Dressed in a brick red velvet dress, an elegant blue scarf envelops her figure.
Hair styled “a la Fontange”, her powdered hair is raised and tied at the back with a red ribbon, several curly locks escape from her bun and fall on her back and shoulders.
The perfectly oval face with regular features dominated by her straight nose is softened by her gray eyes with slightly lowered lids. The red tinged skin tones on the cheeks and cheekbones color the face and make the portrait come alive.
The young woman is portrayed standing near a pot of carnations. Her strongly lighted figure stands out against an architectural background of columns.
The artist's palette is made of contrasts opposing warm to cold hues. The icy electric blue contrasts with the fiery brick red, the hair powdered with white accentuates even more the flush of the cheeks.
The left arm bent at the elbow, extending the open hand with slightly bent fingers in the foreground brings depth to the composition.
By Jean Ranc (Montpellier 1674 - Madrid 1735), circa 1700
Oil on canvas in oval shape,
Dimensions: h. 91 cm, w. 72cm
Period Louis XIV giltwood and carved frame with laurel leaves.
Framed dimensions: h. 108 cm, w. 86cm
Provenance: Collection of the Marquis de Bailleul at the Château d'Angerville-Bailleul (before 1942).
Our portrait, an interesting testimony in the corpus of works of the painter, is part of his youthful period, around 1700-1705.
The former belonging of this portrait to the Marquis de Bailleul reinforces the remarkable character of our painting.
The portrait has been examined by Stéphane Perreau, specialist of Jean Ranc and will be included in the catalog raisonné currently being written, under number P. 43. The notice edited by Mr Perreau is below:
"Painted around 1700-1705, this portrait of a woman is directly inherited from Hyacinthe Rigaud, the master of Jean Ranc (the hand turned over the front, in a watch movement, the presence of the flowerpot from which carnations spring and the drapery blue). The addition in the lower part of the blue drapery of an "ove" fold, the large flat areas of dark brown and its reverse of geometric folds are typical of the art of Jean Ranc. The shaded parts, very pronounced, seem dug into the material and simply enhanced on their edges by broad lines of raw light brushed with energy. The hair, put in a high bun from which escape several long locks falling over the shoulders and the back, is held back and adorned with a red ribbon with geometric folds. This hairstyle bears witness to a widespread fashion in the early years of the 18th century. At that time, the high buns “à la Fontange” tended to lose height while retaining the two curls or “jugs”, arranged on either side of the forehead. They are highlighted by a clear shadow which materializes in Ranc a bright light coming from the left of the composition. It is also in the skin tones and their porcelain appearance that the artist's style is revealed. The eyes are highlighted with a line of black pencil under the upper eyelid, while the underside of the lower one is largely forced in white, in order to provide more contrast with the very pronounced pink of the cheeks. »
Litterature: Jean Ranc, un Montpelliérain à la Cour des Rois, Michel Hilaire, Stéphan Perreau, Pierre Stépanoff, Silvana Editoriale ; 20/02/2020
Jean Ranc (Montpellier 1674 - Madrid 1735), one of the most brilliant pupils of Hyacinthe Rigaud, academician in 1703. Portraitist of Parisian circles close to the Regent for nearly 26 years, he will have the privilege of working at the Spanish court for the nephew of Louis XIV, King Philip V of Spain.