Offered by Galerie PhC
Jean Nocret (1615, 1672) attributed. Large Portrait of Louis XIV in armor.
Canvas canvas 117 cm by 90 cm
Superb and important frame of 140 cm by 113 cm
Little is known of the provenance of this superb and imposing portrait of the Sun King except that during the cleaning of the work, we discovered the marks of an old outline in which the canvas was embedded. We can therefore quite think that the painting was part of an important wall decoration of woodwork and that it was in a medallion (top of the fireplace?).
The King is standing, he is wearing his armor, the command sash around his waist. He holds the staff of command in his right hand, while his left hand rests on his helmet. Around the neck are tied an imposing red silk knot and a lace tie (as in other portraits painted by Mignard, Louis Ferdinand Elle, Rabon, Troy ...). Note in particular the superbly rendered representation of the reverberation of light and blue sky on the breastplate. The whole is superb making this portrait a piece of very first choice and of great interest.
Jean Nocret (1615, 1672)
He is a student of Jean Le Clerc, painter from Lorraine. After a trip to Rome where he met Poussin with whom he quarreled somewhat, he returned to Paris in 1644. In 1649, he was appointed painter to the King, valet to the King and painter to the Duke of Orleans. He quickly became known and appreciated as a portrait painter.
In 1657, Nocret was part of the suite of the bishop of Comminges, French ambassador to Portugal. During this period, he produced portraits of the Portuguese royal family (the Infanta Catherien, the Infant Peter and King Alfonso VI).
Back in Paris in 1660, he was responsible for decorating certain ceilings and walls of the Château de Saint Cloud and numerous portraits. The best-known painting produced at this time can be found today in Versailles (Louis XIV and his family as gods of Olympus).
In 1663, he joined the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture. Under the direction of Lebrun, he was put in charge of the decoration of the Tuileries Palace, in particular the ceilings of the antechamber and the Queen's bedroom.
All these decorations have of course disappeared and fortunately many portraits have come down to us. For some of them, the experts hesitate in their attribution between Nocret and Louis Ferdinand Elle, our table does not derogate from the question.