L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Monsieur et madame de Thelluson, by Liotard, 1760

An absolutely charming pair of pastel portraits, perfect examples of Liotard's work. The particular blue** that he used so frequently is quite prominent here. Both portraits are quite wonderful in their own right - the lively expressions, full of wit; the precise, elegant detail; the bright and harmonious coloration - but seen together they are all that much more. Their gaze quite clearly states their warm admiration and enjoyment of one another - these portraits were taken in the year of their marriage - and it's a delightful intimacy they share.

Julie Marguerite de Thellusson, née Ployard (1740-1820).
Isaac-Louis de Thellusson, Seigneur de la Gara (1727-1801).
The long locks of his powdered hair have been put up at the back of his head with a comb, an arrangement I haven't seen in any other portrait; to
keep the powder off of his fine embroidered silk dressing gown, I presume? A small, charming detail:  both his ring and her bracelet - a framed
miniature on a black ribbon, actually - contain tiny portraits. It would probably be safe to assume that they are images of their new spouses.

** If I knew the names of colors, as I should, I could tell you the actual name of this particular blue. It's a strange void in my "font of useless information" - as my father used to call his own cache of such fairly superfluous knowledge - this inability to rattle off all the specific varieties of ochres and crimsons and umbers. Alizarin, cerulean, madder, aureolin; you see how the names of colors are really quite wonderful...?


  1. Thank you for making me smile this morning!

  2. You're welcome, J. W.! After this went up, but before I read your comment, I noticed a detail I hadn't already. I realized that they are both wearing miniatures and added the note under monsieur de Thulluson's portrait. How did I miss that? With wonderful art like this you can look and look and look.... : )

  3. I notice she lived to be eighty, bless her happy heart.

  4. I also love that they are both somewhat en deshabille' in their portraits, which only adds to the sense of easy likability of them both. What charming dinner companions they would make. Now, what to order for dinner from cook?

  5. so charming -you just know these 2 portraits hung next to one another their whole lives in a private area of their home.