Monday, June 17, 2024

“Beautiful Strasbourg” sums up the spirit of the 17th century


Nicolas Largillier was one of the most prominent historical painters

Sharjah: Osman Hassan

Nicholas de Largeliere (1656–1746), French artist, is considered one of the most important painters of portraits and history paintings still alive in Europe in the late seventeenth century and the first four decades of the eighteenth century. Antwerp – his childhood in Belgium, he traveled at the age of nine, he first came to London and then returned to Antwerp, so that the artistic people would know his artistic talents in his youth, he was apprenticed under the hands of his father, Anthony Jobao. , a painter known for his landscape photography. He was admitted to the Society of Painters of St. Luke’s at the age of 17. In 1675, he made a second trip to London, where he worked as a restorer under the supervision of the Italian painter and decorator Antonio Ferrio, which attracted the attention of King Charles II.

During that period, the artist painted many paintings in the style of his Dutch and Flemish masters, namely: Jean Davids Heim and Rachel Raich, after which he painted with great skill, using nature, including flowers. , fruits, and animals, and painted a group of historical pictures.

In 1679, Larquilie settled in Paris, specializing in Baroque portraiture using the styles of the great artists Peter Paul Rubens, Anthony van Dyck, and Pieter Lely. The Flemish war painter Adam France van Meulen introduced him to the great artist Charles Le Brun, first painter to King Louis XIV and director of the Royal Academy of Painting, and after accepting him as a candidate for admission to the Academy, he received a diploma in painting a large portrait of his teacher, Charles Le Brun. Agreeing to receive, he sat in his studio surrounded by art tools and oil inks and took photographs.

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In 1686, the painter made a final trip to England, where he painted portraits of the newly crowned King James II (reigned 1685–1688) and his wife Mary of Modena (1658–1718). Fleeing to France after the Revolution and the fall of James Nicholas, he settled near Paris, and between 1689 and 1722 he was commissioned to paint a series of paintings detailing a series of civil ceremonies held in honor of the royal family, sponsored by heads of the royal family. and the clergy of the city of Paris.

A light

One of Larguilier’s most famous paintings: (Lady from Strasbourg) or (Strasbourg the Beautiful), which he completed in 1703, is today preserved in the Museum of Fine Arts in Strasbourg – France.

This painting is the most famous of Nicolas’ 1,500 portraits, and is the most famous work in the Strasbourg museum, and the most widely circulated French painting in the world.

The painting gained great fame and acclaim at the time due to its list of owners, most of whom belonged to the prestigious class, among them (Ange Laurent Joly), the famous French financier who lived between 1725 and 1779, and Caesar. Gabriel, Duke of Praslin, is the grandson of a family of marquises, officials and French politicians.

The painting was purchased at Sotheby’s Gallery in London on July 3, 1963, for a record sum of 145,000 pounds sterling at the time. It was later bought by the Strasbourg Museum for a whopping price of over 1.7 million French francs, the highest price ever paid by an art museum at the time.

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Despite the great popularity of this painting, it was not given critical acclaim. The French painter Robert Hitz called it a “false masterpiece” because, in his view, it suited the taste of the nouveau riche. In 1967, Hitz painted a parody. painting and called it (The Old Man of Strasbourg).


The model in the painting wears a long dress that is narrow at the bust and loose at the bottom. The dress was shiny black with sleeves held just above the wrist. Model’s shoulder.

In the seventeenth century, until the beginning of the eighteenth century, this dress was common in Strasbourg, and it was distinguished by several colors: yellow, white, green and black, and the dress became very popular and incorporated contemporary styles. And this is one of the influences of the later Baroque style, which seemed like a kind of novel. What, and modern fashion trends influenced women, nobility and aristocracy, as well as the middle class. The model’s dress is included in the painting as one of the light and fun designs, and what makes it more beautiful is the light brown colored bra supported by cross straps, which makes her look like a modern model. aristocracy.

The dress was clearly elegant, and the painter was particularly keen to highlight the woman’s neck with black and white reflections. A bright smile on her face.


What distinguishes the model in the painting is the hat, which the artist was keen to show on the right and left sides in a horizontal position, and this style of hats appeared among the Strasbourg women, showing them closed and flat. From the front and back of the head, and the hat is shaped like a horn at both ends, and its horizontal part coincides with the bottom of the hat. The painter made sure the hat was three even. In harmony with the background of the painting, which is decorated with regions, landscapes and various plants, the model appeared straight, comfortable and confident.

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The identity of the woman depicted in the painting is unknown, some critics assert that she is a bourgeois woman from Strasbourg, and some assert that she is a young Parisian disguised as the city of Strasbourg, and there are other opinions. She was the sister of the painter Marie Elizabeth de Larculière.

Art critics praised the painting as a work of extreme intelligence, combining strength and delicacy. It was classified as: “A masterpiece of that glamor which shows a woman of the upper class at Strasbourg, and is a picture of the ideal French woman, free, elegant and feminine.”

Pandora Bacchus
Pandora Bacchus
"Coffee evangelist. Alcohol fanatic. Hardcore creator. Infuriatingly humble zombie ninja. Writer. Introvert. Music fanatic."

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