Five medallions representing portraits of Hubert Drouais’s cousins. (the Valois family)
Black chalk heightened with white on beige paper for one, sanguine for four.
Five drawings on the same assembly.
18th century Bérain frame.
Good state of conservation; small freckles.
Provenance: By descent in the Valois family.
Diameter: 11.5 cm for four, 13.5 x 11 cm
Mounting: Height: 48.5; Width: 37 cm
Frame: Height: 55 cm; Width: 45 cm
Our opinion :
The medallions that we present are characteristic of the manner of Hubert Drouais, who was one of the greatest miniaturists of his time.
They wonderfully represent the grace of the Enlightenment, with the faces of well-groomed and smiling gentlemen who exude benevolence and good nature.
Hubert Drouais, born May 5, 1699 in Pont-Audemer and died February 9, 1767 in Paris, is a French painter, portrait painter and miniaturist.
Son of Anne Talon and the painter Jean Drouais, Hubert was drawn by his taste into the same profession and received his first lessons from his father, who he left to study in Rouen and then in Paris. On his trip to the capital, he could only pay for his trip with the money he earned on the road, he was so poor.
He was particularly fond of portraiture, and was the best pupil of the portrait painter François de Troy, who is linked through his master and Rigaud to the great tradition of Van Dyck. He soon acquired a facility which made him regarded as one of the first painters of this genre. As he made progress, he would visit his homeland, as if to pay homage to his early successes3. Father's approval and encouragement from his countrymen were his sweetest reward. He excelled in large portraits and in miniature ones. Although it shines in the different parts that characterize the good painter, the one that made him admire the most is his fresh and brilliant color.
When De Troy died, he was employed by Jean-Baptiste van Loo, Oudry and Nattier. He was one of the fashionable portrait painters at the court of Louis XV. He painted princes and princesses, but also actresses of the Théâtre-Français and Opera girls: Mlle Gautier, Mlle Pélissier, la Gaussin, la Camargo.