I love discovering old masters of art that I don’t know much about so when I went to the Royal Academy to see Jean-Etienne Liotard’s exhibition I wasn’t sure what to expect but the photos from the show intrigued and I have to say I was really impressed by his amazingly exquisite pastel portraits.
The work of Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-89) has rarely been shown and this year it has been show at the Royal Academy in the London.
Liotard had a long career and his finest pictures show an astounding hyper-authenticity accomplished through a mix of fantastic, exceptional perception and striking specialized drawing skills. He mastered the art of pastel; additionally he made oil paintings in oil and was a refined miniaturist and printmaker. He was a traveller and adventurer he wrote a treatise on painting, he befriended aristocrats who would be his patrons and was a creative trend-setter when he came back to London and wore his Turkish costumes. He was from the same period of Mozart and Casanova and was a well know figure at the time.
Highlights of the show feature his well-known representations of European aristocrats, startling self-portraits, and fascinating subjects from his travels in Paris, Vienna, Geneva and Constantinople.