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After Alexandre Roslin, The Dauphin, Louis de France

Key facts
Full title The Dauphin, Louis de France
Artist After Alexandre Roslin
Artist dates 1718 - 1793
Date made 1765 or later
Medium and support Oil on canvas
Dimensions 80 × 64.1 cm
Acquisition credit Presented by Emilie Yznaga, 1945
Inventory number NG5588
Location Not on display
Collection Main Collection
Previous owners
The Dauphin, Louis de France
After Alexandre Roslin

This is a portrait of Louis-Joseph-Xavier, Dauphin of France (1729–1765), the son and heir of King Louis XV of France. He is dressed in the uniform of a colonel of the Dauphin-Dragons, and wearing the blue sash of the Order of the Saint-Esprit and the red sash of the Order of the Golden Fleece. Our picture is a painted copy of Roslin’s three-quarter-length portrait of the Dauphin commissioned and painted in 1765 and now at Versailles.

Roslin based the Dauphin’s features on one or two earlier portraits he had made of him from life – one in pastels (Versailles) and one in oils (current whereabouts unknown). The pastel portrait was made in 1765, the last year of the Dauphin’s life, and reflects his weight loss as a result of tuberculosis. It was the final likeness taken of him, and was used for a number of copies and derived portraits in the years immediately following his death.

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