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Maurice Cantin de
Latour

France 
1704−1788
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Nineteen-year-old left his hometown, Saint-Quentin, and came to Paris, where he studied with mediocre painter Dupuche and some other artists. A few years after that went to Reims and Cambrai. The first two works of Latour (portraits of himself and wife of the painter Boucher), exhibited at the Paris salon of 1737, brought him the title added to the Academy of fine arts; in 1746 he was elected its full member, and in 1750 received the title of Royal painter, who was able to keep for 23 years. In 1780, retired in his hometown.

French artist who worked in pastels. All official documents of Saint-Quentin, his name is Delatour (Delatour). The artist wrote his name separately, and then the writing became generally accepted. In early youth he showed a propensity for drawing and copied prints. In 1723, possibly due to a failed love affair with his cousin, he went to Paris, where he met with the engraver N. Tardieu and comes to the disciples to I. the Bushel, artist middling. He gets tips from Louis Valentin de Boulogne and Jean Resta. Independently it is learning pastel painting, re-styled by Vivien and Rosalba Carrieras. "He was a portraitist, writes Marie. He painted portraits in pastel, it took a little time, is not tired of the model, his portraits are found similar, they were not expensive". The first dated portrait by Latour - portrait of Voltaire, is known only from the engraving by Langlois, pointing to 1731. In the future there is more information about his work.

"Charged" to the core. Academy in 1737, he, with "Portrait Resta, painter" (Paris, Louvre), becomes a member in 1746 as "the painter of pastel portraits". He participates at the Louvre exhibitions, resumed after a 13 year hiatus, Director Cor. buildings, Orry de Vignari. In 1741 he creates a great portrait of the rise of President de rie (debate, collection Rothschild), 1742 - a portrait of the wife of President de Rieu ball gown (Paris, musée Cognac-Same) and very similar portrait of his friend Abbot Hubert, reading by candlelight (Saint-Quentin, the Museum of Latour). In 1743, the artist began a series of official portraits: the portrait of the Duke de VIERA, Governor-General of Provence (AIX-EN-Provence, musée Granet). In 1745 he shows at the Salon a portrait of Duval de Lepinoy (Lisbon, Gulbenkian Foundation). The number of pastels, sent to the Salon in 1748, reached 14, among which eight are now stored in the Louvre (the portrait of the king, the Queen, the Dauphin, Marshal Maurice de Saxe, etc.). In 1750 Latour was appointed Advisor to the Cor. Academy; the same year the Academy was "numbered with" the artist, whom many critics opposed the Latour - Jean-Baptiste Apron. In the same year (1751) Latour creates the most "finished" of his "self-Portraits" (Amiens, Museum of Picardy). The style of the artist loses in softness and charm, but wins in vitality and vigor. In the Salon in 1753 he exhibits portraits of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (Geneva, Museum of art and history) and d'alembert (Paris, Louvre). In the Salon of 1755 was shown a large portrait of the Marquise de Pompadour (ibid.; three sketches with pastels, pearly hues, one of which strikingly conveys the advanced age of the model - Saint-Quentin, the Museum of Latour); for it was paid a thousand Louis. Among the portraits exhibited at the Salon in 1757, it should be called portraits of the Capuchin father Emmanuel and Opera singer Mademoiselle Fel (Saint-Quentin, the Museum of Latour); Fel was one of many Actresses whose portraits Latour wrote and which became a companion almost throughout his life. Portraits of Latour admires in those years Diderot. In 1761 the artist exhibited the portrait of the wife of the Dauphin, Mary Josephy Saxon (Paris, Louvre). Since that time, he, for care, begins to constantly rewrite his work, which often makes them dry and heavy. Critics said less about it. The last time he exhibited at the Salon in 1773.

Into chemistry, Geology, astronomy, supporting philanthropic movement encyclopedists, he creates humanitarian projects, especially for the city where he returned together with his brother in 1784. He founded in Saint-Quentin the two funds for mothers and old and infirm artisans, as well as a school of drawing, considered from a distant perspective; the school still exists today in the building in the style of XVIII century, built for the Field bigo in 1928-1931, there are 93 pastels of Latour, sketches, and finished works. The artist has established three awards, one of which was intended for the Academy of Sciences of Amiens, and the other, for the best half-length portrait, awarded to this day. A large amount of compensation he has requested from its customers, it is significantly enriched. Independent, imperious and violent temper worsened in the last years of his life; he soon lost his mind. The artist died without making wills; his brother gave the city of Saint-Quentin all the paintings and sketches of the artist, which form the basis of the Museum of that city. In his most successful portraits are not just transferred to the similarity with the model, but in his eyes, the smile, unhappy grimace emerges the psychology of the model. The predominant colors of blue and pearl-gray colors, often found pink, red and yellow. All details are carefully spelled out and the background to successfully nuanced undertones. Latour invented for his pastels retainer, the secret of which no one but he knew.

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