Jean-Baptiste van

France • 1684−1745

Biography and information

Van Loo family of painters of the 18th century. The paintings of these artists are devoted to historical and genre scenes, their paintings depicted portraits. The most successful one in the family was Louis-Michel, who was a pupil of his father Jean-Baptiste van Loo. In Paris he painted many portraits of Louis XV, king of France.

Jean-Baptiste van Loo (1684-1745) belongs to the numerous family of French artists of the XVII—XVIII centuries, originating from the South of the country. He was born in AIX, studied with his father Louis van Loo and later became the teacher of his son Louis-Michel.


Like many painters of his time, van Loo working on orders. He treated art as an artistic craft: he was a master of his craft, but obeyed the tastes of the customers and did not seek to Express their own individuality. The main area of his work and mythological paintings and portraits of the nobility. Before you find yourself in Paris, Jean-Baptiste van Loo worked in Genoa, Turin, Rome, painted the ceiling in the castle in Rivoli. From 1720 he receives regular orders for paintings in Paris in 1731 became a member of the Academy of arts. Van Loo at this time—pet courtiers, he ordered his portrait to the king himself, Louis XV. In the late 30's-early 40-ies of the van Loo conquers England—where he also writes a number of portraits of courtiers.


Known for its adventurous adventures of Giacomo Casanova left in his memoirs a very precise notes about portrait art of the first half of the eighteenth century. For example, he tells about a certain fast-wealthy artist who was doing portraits, seeing the model, the description. Casanova has established three types of portraiture. First, in his opinion, is one that conveys the exact likeness, but can "disfigure". The second model reproduces perfectly. And finally, the third is when the artist passing resemblance to the model, makes it more beautiful. This third type who liked Casanova, and was most common in the era of Rococo type "ennobling portrait." Artists at the time do portraits if not in verbal description, often only a quick sketch. The Countess and the Marquise is not always wanted to spend a lot of time to pose for the artist, and the portrait had to show their beauties. So rocaille Curling portraits sometimes more like each other than themselves. To write female portraits by van Loo was a special master. He often represented his heroines in some sublime images—for example, in the form of ancient goddesses, muses. Already in this one was a great way to flatter the lady depicted. Or, for example, depict a noble lady seriously talking to a little bird, which she holds on her finger, as, for example, in the Hermitage portrait. Expensive fabrics that dressed customers, the artist was able to convey a refined pearl-gray, wine-red, deep-red tones, emphasizing the velvety velour, glitter brocade, shimmer pearls, the softness of ermine skins or delicate transparency of Brabant lace.


In the male portraits rocaille Curling painters are more reserved, but here it is more important to create a Grand, lofty way than to talk about their models, to identify traits of the person.


Big mens formal portrait of sir Robert Walpole, belonging to the brush of Jean-Baptiste vanloo, stored in the Hermitage. Walpole is depicted on it in full length, in ceremonial attire. The portrait probably refers to the period when van Loo worked in London. Robert Walpole the English statesman, the chief Lord of the Treasury and the Chancellor. He was the owner of crown castle, Houghton Hall, where he kept a large collection of paintings. In the second half of the XVm century, when they began to form the first Russian Museum—the Hermitage, and bought this collection. Along with other paintings came to the Hermitage and the portrait depicting her previous owner.


Jean-Baptiste van Loo, as well as his contemporaries— Jean-Marc Nattie, Louis Tocqué, and the sculptor Jean-Jacques Caffieri, art historians are sometimes accused of superficiality, template salon of flattery. What can you do, it's not so much the fault of their own, how the hell are their age. They wrote (and society demanded that they wrote) not the people, but their secular mask. And if the mask the court of the XVII century, represented the Majesty, arrogance, pride, reflecting the self-perception of aristocracy as the embodiment of the dignity of the whole of France, the next century has reduced the former level of self-identity. Gallant men, playful, and slightly childish, ladies no longer felt that they determine the fate of the Fatherland. The cunning and the ability to hide their personal goals for an innocent face, is caused by success in the intrigues of the Palace. Therefore we look with a slight smile the characters in the portraits by van Loo, who, indulging their models could be exposed to history techniques and conventions of their secular games.