Offered by Galerie Charles Ratton & Guy Ladriere
Black and red chalks
Height: 33 cm
Length: 22,5 cm
Inscribed in black chalk : « Mr le duc de Chaulnes dans son cabinet » and signed « Garand fecit »
Jean-Baptiste Garand became a member of the Académie de Saint-Luc in 1761, before becoming conseiller and adjoint à professeur, and exhibited there three times, in 1762, 1764, and 1774, small drawn portraits or miniatures. In 1760, Grimm commissions him the portrait of Diderot which had the good luck to satisfy its difficult to please sitter : « je n’ai jamais été aussi bien fait que par un pauvre diable appelé Garand, qui m’attrapa, comme il arrive à un sot qui dit un bon mot. Celui qui voit mon portrait par Garand me voit. Ecco il vero Pulcinella ». This portrait is now lost, but known through an engraving, as other works of the artist (portraits of Marivaux, the marquis de Dampierre, Françoise de Graffigny, and others). The few drawn portraits we know by Garand (who, thanks to him, always signs distinctively) represent the sitter seated in his interior, or, as is the case for the portrait of a woman playing
the viol in the Mulhouse museum, in a landscape, in some familiar occupation, a kind of Carmontelle without colors, but he also made mythological portraits, Monsieur de Sartines as Hercules (Nancy museum, Salon de Saint-Luc in 1762, n°89), Mademoiselle Arnould as Psyché (lost, Salon de Saint-Luc in 1764, n°37).
Which Duke de Chaulnes is here portrayed, as they were two during Garand’s lifetime? Is he Michel Ferdinand d’Albert d’Ailly (1714-1769), who will become the 5th Duke in 1744, famous for his interest in science (he invented a kind of microscope) and his collection of scientific curiosities, and his important library, both located in his hôtel particulier (now replaced by the Ecole des Mines): the drawing shows effectively a library, but nothing related to science, or his son Louis Joseph (1741-1792), who will become in 1769 the 6th and last duke? The comparison between the father’s portraits (by Nattier, as Hercules), and the son’s (by Carmontelle), is in favor of the latter