Portrait of a Man

Louis Lafitte French

Not on view

In 1791, Lafitte, a student of Jacques Louis David’s rival Jean-Baptiste Regnault, won the Prix de Rome for his painting Regulus Returning to Carthage and became the last painter sent to study at the Académie de France during the reign of Louis XVI.

It was in Rome in 1793 that he created this portrait of a stylish and pensive young man before a dramatically lit sky. The proto-Romantic sensibility of the sheet is emphasized by the composition, which sets the subject, perhaps a fellow artist, against a distant landscape with a low horizon line. Later that year, hostilities against the French caused Lafitte to seek refuge in Florence.

Portrait of a Man, Louis Lafitte (French, Paris 1770–1828 Paris), Conté crayon heightened with white chalk

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