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Jean-Baptiste Greuze
Ange Laurent de La Live de Jully
ca. 1759
Oil on canvas

46 1/16 x 34 13/16 inches
National Gallery of Art, Samuel H. Kress Collection

National Gallery of Art

Excerpt from National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.:

Like Jacques Onésime de Bergeret, Lalive de Jully (1725-79) was an influential collector, amateur, and painter in the Parisian art world of the 1750s and 1760s. One of Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s first patrons, Lalive is depicted seated on a chair he had commissioned as part of a suite of furniture à la grecque. This furniture subtly reveals Lalive’s avant-garde taste in rejecting the curvilinear forms of the rococo in favor of rectilinear shapes and archaeological decor before the full flowering of the neoclassical style.

Greuze placed Lalive in the center of the canvas his torso twists toward the harp, as his head, shown in three-quarter pose, turns to the viewer. He is casually attired in a white silk dressing gown, a scarf around his neck, and his britches unbuttoned at the knees. The captivating expression, a faint smile and slightly raised eyebrows, further enhances the contrived informality of the portrait. The emphasis on the face and hands counterbalances the rigid series of parallel vertical lines that define the space.

The prominent display of the harp, accompanied by the furniture with the portfolio of drawings and statue of the Erythrean Sibyl in the background, suggests that Greuze has depicted Lalive as a new Apollo, alluding to his patronage of the arts.


Additional Information

Jean-Baptiste Greuze: Selected Biographies on Art in Context

Jean-Baptiste Greuze: Related Links on Art in Context


Jean-Baptiste Greuze, French, (1725–1805)
b. August 21, 1725, Tournus
d. 1805

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