François de Jullienne (1722–1754) and His Wife (Marie Élisabeth de Séré de Rieux, 1724–1795)

Artist: Charles Antoine Coypel (French, Paris 1694–1752 Paris)

Date: 1743

Medium: Pastel, black chalk, watercolor, and traces of black chalk underdrawing on four joined sheets of handmade blue laid paper, mounted on canvas and adhered to a keyed stretcher

Dimensions: 39 3/8 x 31 1/2 in. (100 x 80 cm)

Classification: Pastels & Oil Sketches on Paper

Credit Line: Purchase, Mrs. Charles Wrightsman Gift, in honor of Annette de la Renta, 2011

Accession Number: 2011.84


The academician Charles Antoine Coypel was appointed First Painter to Louis XV of France in 1747. His oeuvre includes genre scenes, satirical caricatures, portraits, and historical and religious subjects in the grand manner. His exceptional pastels are few in number. This double portrait is among Coypel’s latest and most accomplished: it displays dazzling and unerring control of a variety of materials—principally pastel but also chalk and watercolor. Traditionally, the sitters have been identified as François de Jullienne (1722–1754) and his young wife, Marie Élisabeth de Séré de Rieux (1724–1795). François was the son of Jean de Jullienne (1686–1766), a wealthy textile merchant, collector of paintings, and patron of Antoine Watteau (1684–1721).