Thursday, July 21, 2016

European Portraits of the 18th century

Thomas Gainsborough
Portrait of David Garrick
ca. 1770
oil on canvas
National Portrait Gallery, London

"The famous Garrick said to the Chevalier de Chastelux, "However sensitive nature may have made you, if you perform with reference only to yourself, or to the most perfect subsistent nature known to you, you can only be mediocre." 

"Mediocre! And why is that?" 

"Because for you, for me, and for the spectator there is an ideally possible man who, in a given circumstance, would respond differently from yourself. Such is the imaginary being you should take as your model. The more vivid your conception of him, the more extraordinary, marvelous, and sublime, the grander you will be." 

"You never play yourself, then?" 

"I take particular care not to. And this goes not only for myself, but for the chevalier as well as everyone in my circle. When I tear by guts apart, when I scream like an animal; these are not my own guts, nor my own cries, but rather the guts and cries of another I've imagined and who doesn't exist."

 Denis Diderot, from The Salon of 1767, translated by John Goodman (Yale University Press, 1995)

Philippe Jacques de Loutherbourg
David Garrick as Don John
1774
oil on panel
Victoria & Albert Museum

William Duesbury & Co., Derby
Portrait bust of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
ca. 1780
soft-paste porcelain
Victoria & Albert Museum

George Engleheart
Miniature portrait of Charlotte, Princess-Royal, later Queen of W├╝rttemburg
1795
watercolor on ivory
Royal Collection, Great Britain

Richard Cosway
Self-portrait
ca. 1790
pencil and wash
National Portrait Gallery, London

Anonymous print-maker after Rosalba Carriera
Self-portrait
18th century
etching, engraving
British Museum

Jean-Baptist Greuze
Self-portrait
18th century
drawing
Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Henri Simon Thomassin
Imaginary portrait of Caravaggio
early 18th century
engraving
National Gallery of Art (U.S.)

Godfrey Kneller
Portrait of William Stukeley
1721
drawing
National Portrait Gallery, London

Gaspard Duchange
Portrait of Charles de La Fosse
1707
engraving
British Museum

John Bacon
Portrait bust of an unknown man
late 18th century
terracotta
 Victoria & Albert Museum

Anonymous painter
Portrait of George Lyttelton, 1st Baron Lyttelton
ca. 1756
oil on canvas
National Portrait Gallery, London

Anonymous painter
Portrait of Constantine John Phipps, 2nd Baron Mulgrave
ca. 1775
oil on canvas
National Portrait Gallery, London

attributed to George Willison
Portrait of Robert Adam, with folio
ca. 1770-75
oil on canvas
National Portrait Gallery, London