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Jean-Baptiste Greuze: 'Portrait of a Man'

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Room A: Paintings after 1600

This portrait, dated 1763, may be identical with one of a Comte de Lupé exhibited at the Salon in that year.

Greuze was also paid in 1763 for a bust-length portrait of a Monsieur Bacherach, a merchant of St Petersburg.

The design is focused on the head, with the bulk of the chest forming a substantial pyramid below. The costume suggests wealth, the gold edging, the folds of the jacket and the lace cravat forming a lively and colourful pattern that underscores the austerity of the head. Grander and more flamboyant sitters are represented in Greuze's work with the same dispassion.

The distinction of Greuze's portraits was well appreciated in his lifetime, Diderot going so far as to compare him with Rubens and Rembrandt.

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