The Moses Lazarus Collection, Gift of Josephine and Sarah Lazarus, in memory of their father, 1888–95
Not on view
Born in Boras, Sweden, Hall worked in the Stockholm studio of the pastelist Gustaf Lundberg (1695–1786) from 1760 until 1766. He then settled in Paris, where he soon became the leading miniaturist and first exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1769. Hall left for Belgium in 1791 and died in Liège in 1793. In his mature work he exploited to the full the possibilities opened up by Rosalba Carriera's introduction of ivory as a ground; his miniatures are also marked by freedom of brushwork, breadth of handling, and a subtle balance between transparent and opaque pigments. There is a fine collection of works by Hall in the Musée du Louvre, Paris.
Maurice, born in Nancy, was a lawyer who gave up the bar to become a portraitist. He went to St. Petersburg in 1758 as court painter to the Empress Elizabeth (1709–1762), and he seems also to have been court painter to Catherine the Great (1729–1796). A miniature portrait by him of Empress Catherine II (about 1762) is in the Musée du Louvre (Pierrette Jean-Richard, Miniatures sur ivoire, Paris, 1994, no. 715, ill.). When he returned to Paris, he found favor with the queen, Marie Antoinette (1755–1793). Before the Revolution he assembled a distinguished collection of works of art.
[2016; adapted from Reynolds and Baetjer 1996]
Inscription: Signed and dated (right, in black): hall. / [ft?] 72
Moses Lazarus, New York (until d. 1885); his daughters, Josephine and Sarah Lazarus, New York (1885–1888/95)
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Four Centuries of Miniature Painting," January 19–March 19, 1950, unnumbered cat. (p. 6).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Eighteenth-Century Woman," December 12, 1981–September 5, 1982, unnumbered cat. (p. 60).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art," November 5, 1996–January 5, 1997, no. 46.
Graham Reynolds with the assistance of Katharine Baetjer. European Miniatures in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Exh. cat., The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 1996, pp. 10, 13, 91–93, 114, no. 46, colorpl. 46 and ill. p. 91.