Portrait of Madame de Sévigné (1626; 1696), Pastel attributed to Robert Nanteuil (1623; 1678)
Pastel 55 cm by 45 cm
Old frame of 83 cm by 73 cm
This rare 17th century pastel is a work attributed to Robert Nanteuil. We know another pastel from the famous epistolary produced by Nanteuil, a few years before the one we are offering you. It can now be admired at the Carnavalet museum in Paris.
Robert Nanteuil (1623; 1678)
He entered around 1645 as a student engraver with Nicolas Regnesson, where he quickly became a collaborator and brother-in-law. Settled in Paris in 1647, he found powerful protectors there and became a fashionable artist there.
Naturally eloquent and lively in his expressions: "Nanteuil wrote very pleasant verses, which he liked to recite".
He brought together in his studio several talented artists, Nanteuil was appointed ordinary engraver of the King in 1657. His daughter married Michel Hardouin, architect to the king, pupil and nephew of Jules Hardouin mansart.
He is almost exclusively a portrait painter. He experimented in this field with various techniques, always refined, from drawing on parchment to engraving with a chisel and especially, during his late period, in pastel.
His work includes more than two hundred and forty portraits of members of the court and of the great dignitaries of the kingdom. He engraves eleven times the portrait of Louis XIV, twice that of Anne of Austria fourteen times that of Mazarin, six times that of Colbert ... era such as Philippe de Champaigne, Lebrun or Mignard.
Nanteuil assured that he had made infallible rules to understand the resemblance. He said that there are certain facial features that must be extremely considered, because they serve as a measure of all the others; and that, once you have drawn exactly these lines, the rest is inevitable.