Oil on canvas. An elegant young woman studies the notes of the scores that she is preparing to sing or perform. This extremely refined and sensitive portrait is the work of an 18th century French school painter from Charles-Antoine Coypel’s close entourage. It is highly likely that this painting originated from his studio. The painter’s universe is discernable in the movement and dramatic quality captured. Bathed in light, as if to better appreciate the delicacy of the face and capture the texture of the flesh, our musician is backlit, standing out from the ochre brown background.
Could this young woman who posed for the artist be an actress or a musician that Coypel encountered in his playwright pursuits?
The wonderful Louis XIV period ornate sculpted wood and gilt cornered frame truly showcases this superb painting.
Dimensions: sight 76 x 59 cm – 99 x 83 cm with frame
Charles-Antoine Coypel (Paris 11.07.1694 – ID. 14.06.1752) belongs to a dynasty of painters. He is the grandson of Noël Coypel, son and pupil of Antoine, and nephew of Noël Nicolas. Admitted to the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture at the age of 21, he became head in 1747 and was appointed First Painter to the King the same year.
He painted many religious subjects in response to commissions but his portraits were highly original. They reflect his capacity to observe and his interest in theatre (in addition to his work as a painter, he wrote many theatre plays).
The subjects in his portraits do not appear to be posing, they are often busy either holding a book or a quill, sometimes gesturing. They are occasionally imbued with a certain melancholy. This is Charles-Antoine Coypel’s way of bringing theatre into painting.