Charles & Henri BEAUBRUN, attributed to (Amboise, 1604 – 1692 Paris) (Amboise, 1603 – 1677 Paris) "Portrait of a young aristocrat" Circa 1660 Oil on canvas, 89,3 x 69,4 cm Louis XIV frame, carved wood, original gilding
- Paris, private collection, until november 2017
By scale of the composition, the richness of colors, the carmine dress with trimmings and lace of the refined sleeves which dresses the model with elegance, and the finesse execution of the face, our painting represents a beautiful testimony of what is known from the work of the Beaubrun. The comparison with "Le Portrait de la Grande Mademoiselle" (Charles & Henri Beaubrun, formerly signed and dated 1655, Madrid, Prado Museum), particularly for its face and hair of the model very close to those of our painting, suggests an execution of both paintings by the same artist and a possibly close execution date.
Painters of ornaments, decorations, organizers of ballets, balls, and royal entertainments, poets in their spare time, founding members of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture in 1648 and admired by Henry IV, Louis XIII, then by the young Louis XIV, the two cousins Charles and Henri Beaubrun enjoyed immense success between 1610 and 1660 and received numerous royal commissions.
The two artists trained by Louis Beaubrun their uncle, an important portrait painter of Louis XIII reign, evolved very early in the high spheres of royal power. Accomplished court men, with perfect manners and a gallant and witty conversation, the two artists were widely employed by Anne of Austria who had them painted the portrait’s Dauphin, the future Louis XIV, from the age of eight days, then regularly, the young king and his wife. Félibien says that the Beaubrun workshop has become a real living room. The place was assiduously frequented by the women who constituted the bulk of the Beaubruns' clientele, seduced by their company, but also by their manner, since they knew how to represent them in their portraits. Also for quite a long time there were hardly any Ladies who did not want to be painted by the Beaubrun. Full-length or half-length, the Beaubrun painted these women with mysteriously graceful in luxurious fabrics, silks and velvets, adorned with embroidery of pearls and precious stones, often enhanced with a touch of color brought by a few flowers, in wreath or bouquet. A temporary drop in orders at the beginning of the 1660s, prompted the two artists to seek the intermediary of Colbert, so that he would ask to the king for having the kindness of soliciting these ladies so that they come to be painted.
Part of their celebrity also came from their collaboration and close connection, so extraordinary that they seemed to have only the same imagination, the same spirit and the same will. Indeed, we could not distinguish their hand and the portraits were often made together, each working alternately, using the same palette and the same brushes. Their styles, totally identical, and intended as such, remain impossible to distinguish today.
The success of the Beaubrun seems to have clearly diminished at the beginning of the 1670s. Their last portrait dated by engraving is that of the Queen, executed in 1672 by Nicolas de Poilly. The Charles' postmortem inventory describes the interior of a well-to-do man, but who seems to have stopped painting since a long time.
85 000 €