Portrait of a Man

Artist: Jean Étienne Liotard (Swiss, Geneva 1702–1789 Geneva)

Date: 1755–65

Medium: Red and black chalk on off-white laid paper, verso worked in black chalk (in area corresponding to the sitter's jacket on the recto)

Dimensions: Sheet: 9 1/2 × 7 3/8 in. (24.1 × 18.7 cm)

Classification: Drawings

Credit Line: Gift of Mrs. Charles Wrightsman, 2000

Accession Number: 2000.7


One of the most original and talented draftsmen of the eighteenth century, Liotard created exceedingly refined portraits of his contemporaries. This portrait of an unidentified man is a masterful example of Liotard's mature style. The sitter's authority and intelligence are conveyed through the figure's noble posture, the slight turn of the head, and his confident gaze. The elegant waistcoat and cravat heighten the aura of sophistication and delicacy that surround the figure. The careful, coloristic modeling of the figure's features is highly sensitive and is typical of Liotard's beautiful portrait drawings.