Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Portrait of a Military Officer

Hyacinthe Rigaud (French, Perpignan 1659–1743 Paris)
ca. 1710
Oil on canvas
54 x 41 3/8 in. (137.2 x 105.1 cm)
Credit Line:
The Alfred N. Punnett Endowment Fund, 1959
Accession Number:
Not on view
This portrait is based on a prototype by Rigaud showing the comte d'Évreux as a young man that was painted in about 1703.
The composition was used by Rigaud for a portrait of the fourth son of the duc de Bouillon, Henri Louis de la Tour d’Auvergne, comte d’Évreux. It is probably to be identified with a painting belonging to the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister, Kassel, which must date to 1703 and was exhibited at the 1704 Salon. The cavalry skirmish in the background has been attributed to Joseph Parrocel (1646–1704). The Kassel painting was much copied. There is an engraving in reverse made by Georg Friedrich Schmidt (1712–1775) in 1739 which differs in some details and may have been based on a second version of the Kassel picture. The comte d’Évreux belonged to a noble family from the south of France and received the baton of maréchal de camp in 1704. A great-nephew of Cardinal Mazarin, he married into the wealthy Crozat family in 1707 and was the builder of the Élysée palace.

The present portrait had been identified as a considerably later autograph work by Rigaud representing the comte d’Évreux and a date of about 1720 was proposed. A second version, discovered by Stéphan Perreau in 2004, was published as autograph and with the same date. More recently, however, he and Ariane James-Sarazin have suggested that our sitter may be misidentified. Our sitter’s jowl is thicker and he has a wider forehead. There are slight differences in the armor and the skirmish is not enveloped in a cloud of dust. In Schmidt’s engraving, the arrangement of the cavalry figures, the ends of the sash, and several details of the armor are closer to our painting than the one in Kassel.

[Katharine Baetjer 2012]
Pourtalès family, Neuchâtel; Dr. and Mrs. Corrado Cramer Pourtalès, Milan (1871–his d. 1918); Mrs. Corrado Cramer Pourtalès, Milan or Como (1918–d. 1935); Cramer Pourtalès family, Milan or Como (from 1935; sold to Böhler); [Böhler, Munich, until 1959; sold to MMA]
Milan. Palazzo di Brera. "Esposizione delle opere d'arte antica," August 26–October 7, 1872, no. 20 (as "Ritratto d'un maresciallo," by Hyacinth Rigaud, lent by Corrado Cramer).

Milan. Palazzo della Permanente. "Ritratti del Settecento," 1910, no. 19 (as "Il Maresciallo Goffredo Maurizio de La Tour d'Auvergne," lent by Dott. Cramer Pourtalès, Milan).

Nello Tarchiani. "Il ritratto del Settecento." Rassegna d'arte 10 (May 1910), p. 67, ill.

Giulio Carotti. "La mostra di ritratti del Settecento alla palazzina della 'Permanente'." L'arte 13 (1910), p. 226, comments on the dashing quality of this portrait of the comte d'Évreux from the Cramer Pourtalès collection.

Hyacinthe Rigaud. Le livre de raison du peintre Hyacinthe Rigaud. Ed. J. Roman. Paris, 1919 [pp. 101, 105–6, 112–14, 119, 127].

George Van Derveer Gallenkamp. Letter to Theodore Rousseau. February 1, 1960 [author of a catalogue raisonné that was not completed], as a fine example of Rigaud's work.

Daniëlle O. Kisluk-Grosheide. "A State Bedchamber in the Metropolitan Museum of Art." Antiques 133 (March 1988), colorpl. VI, illustrates it hanging on the wall in the Louis XIV bedroom at the Metropolitan Museum.

Claire Constans. Musée national du château de Versailles: Les peintures. Paris, 1995, vol. 2, p. 760, catalogues the Versailles half-length of the young comte d'Évreux as a workshop copy of the original, shown in the Salon of 1704, and known through variants in Tours and the Metropolitan Museum.

Stéphan Perreau. Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1659–1743: Le peintre des rois. Montpellier, 2004, p. 236 n. 310, p. 240, illustrates a version of this painting in a private collection (fig. 187, 137 x 105 cm), which he dates 1720, calling the two autograph variants; asserts that with the earliest portrait, in Kassel, the artist created a new composition that he copied in his 1707 portrait of the duc de Chaulnes at Versailles.

Christophe Marcheteau de Quinçay. "Portrait dit du comte de Gacé" de Hyacinthe Rigaud. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts de Caen. Caen, 2006, pp. 21, 28 n. 89.

Jérôme Delaplanche. Joseph Parrocel, 1646–1704: La nostalgie de l'héroïsme. Paris, 2006, p. 226, under no. PP.15.

Stéphan Perreau. "Le portrait du comte d'Evreux." Hyacinthe Rigaud le peintre des rois. November 11, 2010, ill. (color) [].

Stéphan Perreau. Letter. September 9, 2012, rejects the identification as the comte d'Évreux.

Ariane James-Sarazin. Letter. September 8, 2012, rejects the identification of the sitter as the comte d'Évreux; assigns the picture to Rigaud and his atelier, about 1710.

Ariane James-Sarazin. Letter. September 9, 2012.

Stéphan Perreau. Letter. November 13, 2012.

Stéphan Perreau. Hyacinthe Rigaud (1659–1743): Catalogue concis de l'œuvre. Sète, 2013, pp. 189–90, no. PC.872, ill.

Ariane James-Sarazin with the collaboration of Jean-Yves Sarazin. Hyacinthe Rigaud, 1659–1743. Dijon, 2016, vol. 1, ill. p. 432 (color detail); vol. 2, pp. 281, 311, 337, 501–2, no. P.1442, ill. (color).

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