Jean-Baptiste Greuze (artist)|
French, 1725 - 1805
Ange Laurent de La Live de Jully, probably 1759
oil on canvas
overall: 117 x 88.5 cm (46 1/16 x 34 13/16 in.) framed: 161.9 x 121.9 cm (63 3/4 x 48 in.)
Samuel H. Kress Collection
Object 10 of 11
Lalive de Jully was a wealthy art collector and amateur artist. Unlike many other Parisian collectors, who favored works of Rembrandt, Rubens, and the Renaissance masters, Lalive de Jully made a conscious effort to collect contemporary French artists. He is shown here with a suite of furniture in the latest neoclassical style. Rectilinear and decorated with motifs from ancient Greek and Roman architecture, this style would become increasingly popular, supplanting the sinuous curves of the rococo.
Lalive de Jully was an early admirer of Greuze, who showed this portrait of him in the 1759 Salon. He was among the first to appreciate the moralizing subjects for which Greuze was primarily known. These melodramatic works, which later generations dismissed as overly sentimental, were greatly admired by eighteenth-century audiences and are now recognized as having played an important role in shifting France's taste from the frivolity of rococo to the more sober styles popular in the last decades of the century. There is a hint of this seriousness in the momentary directness of Lalive de Jully's gaze, as he turns from his harp to engage the viewer.
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