Collection Online

Portrait of a gentleman
(c. 1747)

Medium
oil on canvas
Measurements
60.0 × 45.0 cm
Place/s of Execution
France
Accession Number
p.305.5-1
Department
International Painting
Credit Line
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
Purchased, 1876
Gallery location
17th & 18th Century Decorative Arts & Paintings Gallery
Level 2, NGV International
About

In his lifetime, Tocqué achieved fame for the unprecedented informality and unembellished naturalness of his portraits. Recent conservation of this portrait, which had remained unattributed for over a century, revealed the hallmarks of Tocqué’s style: a pastel-like tonality and softness, contrasted with crisp highlights in the eyes and details of dress.

Abandoned aged ten by his painter father, Louis Tocqué was adopted in 1707 by the portrait painter Jean-Marc Nattier, who became his teacher and later father-in-law. Like Francois Boucher, Lemoyne and later Roslin, Tocqué was much favored by the French court, and was wooed by the Danish and Russian aristocratic patrons.