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Portrait of Lambert de Vermont, c. 1697

Nicolas de Largillière
French, 1656-1746
Oil on canvas
57-1/2 x 44-3/4 in. (146.1 x 113.7 cm)
Norton Simon Art Foundation
© Norton Simon Art Foundation

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Portraiture represented one of the most important aspects of painting in eighteenth century France and Largillière was a leader in this genre. French by birth, he moved to Antwerp as a youth where he absorbed important lessons of color from the Flemish school. His style was fully developed within the tradition of Rubens and Van Dyck. After he returned to Paris in 1682, Largillière modified his Flemish style and established himself as the foremost portraitist of the Parisian bourgeoisie. Largillière promoted the colorism of the north and was the first to recognize this gift in Chardin. His delicacy of touch and his fondness for the fleeting effects of light and color anticipate the rococo lightness soon to prevail.

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