Jean-Étienne Liotard ( * 1702 † 1789 )

Portrait of Jean-Étienne Liotard

Master of Detail: The Life of Jean-Étienne Liotard

Born in Geneva on December 22, 1702, Jean-Étienne Liotard, the son of a jeweler, quickly became a defining figure of the Rococo era. His meticulous pastel portraits and vibrant color chalk paintings earned him a reputation as one of the 18th century's most esteemed painters. Liotard’s initial training in Geneva under Daniel Gardelle was later enriched in Paris, where he apprenticed with notable artists like Jean-Baptiste Massé and François Lemoyne before further honing his craft in Naples under the Marquis Puysieux.

Liotard’s artistic journey took him across Europe’s major cultural hubs, including Rome, where he painted eminent figures such as Pope Clement XII, and Vienna, where he captured the visages of royalty like Emperor Franz Stephan of Lorraine and Maria Theresa. His skillful renderings were celebrated for their attention to detail and vivid realism, securing him commissions from high-ranking aristocrats and monarchs across the continent. His reputation as an exceptional portraitist was bolstered by his profound ability to capture the essence and intricacies of his subjects.

Liotard’s travels extended to the Ottoman Empire, where he was deeply influenced by the local culture and dress, earning him the nickname "the Turkish painter." His famous work, "La Chocolatière," exemplifies his mastery of pastel drawing, a technique he preferred for its ability to convey texture and lifelike vitality. Settling back in Geneva in his later years, Liotard continued to paint, focusing on still lifes and landscapes, until his death in 1789. His legacy includes numerous self-portraits, showcasing him in the extravagant, oriental attire that mirrored his experiences and stylistic influences from the East.

Wall art prints and famous paintings by Jean-Étienne Liotard
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