COLLECTING
Thomaï Serdari on Fine Arts & Luxury
The lovely Mademoiselle Jacquet
Jean Etienne Liotard. Portrait of Mademoiselle Jacquet, bet. 1748-1752.

Jean Etienne Liotard. Portrait of Mademoiselle Jacquet, bet. 1748-1752.

A portrait of the lovely Mlle Jacquet is coming up for auction at Sotheby’s Paris on June 21st. Mlle Jacquet was an actress and singer with the Royal Academy of Music  in Paris. Her portrait is signed by the most famous pastel painter of the eighteenth century, Jean Étienne Liotard.

Liotard (1702-1789), was born in Geneva, and was trained as a miniaturist and master of enameling, the most respected form of art from the Renaissance through the 18th Century. He moved to France in 1748, when he was already famous, to respond to the King’s invitation to work for the royal family. Liotard was commissioned several portraits of the royal family further increasing his reputation as the finest painter of the time. His celebrity brought him to Italy where he painted Pope Clement XII and several of his Cardinals. Ambitious and curious, Liotard traveled a lot throughout Europe and the Orient where he continued refining his technique and showed great interest in depicting local characters and costumes, always in pastel. In Vienna, for example, he completed the portraits of Francois I and the Empress Marie-Thérèse. Both portraits are accounted today among his masterpieces. Several of his works belong to the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

Mlle Jacquet’s portrait is remarkable for its freshness but also for its provenance: it was offered directly by Mlle Jacquet to the ancestors of the family who is offering it for auction in a few days. Its value has been estimated between 300,000 and 400,00 Euros but it will be interesting to see how the this Sunday’s Greek elections affect the Parisian auction, if at all.

© Thomaï Serdari