Portrait of a Gentleman
Throughout his long career, Nicolas de Largillière was renowned for his portraits. This portrait of an unknown sitter, probably a member of the newly wealthy Parisian middle class, was painted by the artist soon after he became a member of the Académie de Peinture et de Sculpture in Paris. An important bridge between the staid and conservative French portrait tradition of the seventeenth century and the more colorful and animated style of the eighteenth century, Largillière brought to his likenesses elements culled from his training in Flanders and England. His fluid brushwork and a lush sense of color are hallmarks that are evident in this work.