A pastel by Maurice Quentin de La Tour bequeathed to Orleans


Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1704-1788)
Portrait of Madame Restout, 1738
Pastel
Orléans, Musée des Beaux-Arts
Photo : Musée des Beaux-Arts d’Orléans

7/3/11 – Acquisition – Orleans, Musée des Beaux-Arts - Eighteenth century French pastels represent one of the most prestigious holdings in the collections at the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Orleans. The museum has just added to this wealthy ensemble with a major acquisition, a previously unpublished portrait of Madame Restout (ill.) by Maurice Quentin de La Tour. The photograph corresponds to the remarkable quality of the work, excellently preserved and to its rich and subtle colours. The model, born Marie-Anne Hallé, was married to Jean Restout. This pastel was bequeathed by Madame Henriette Laurent-Valois, a descendant of the Hallé family. The work had remained with the Hallés since its production in 1738, when it had also been presented at the Salon.

The Musée des Beaux-Arts in Orleans already owned three pastels by Quentin de La Tour (Portrait of a Young Black Man, 1741, Study for the Portrait of the Painter Louis Silvestre, 1753 and the Portrait known as Abbot Réglet, 1769). This new acquisition therefore fits in quite naturally with the others particularly due to the fact, as pointed out by Isabelle Klinka-Ballesteros, Director of the Orleans museums, in the entry for this work which states that “the course of 18th century historic painting also enables us to discover the works of Jean Restout, the master of La Tour (Abdolonimus Working in the Garden, Salon of 1737, Abdolonimus Appears before Alexander in Royal Costume, Salon of 1738, the Angelic Greeting [1]…), as well as those of Claude Guy Hallé (The Adoration of the Magi, 1701) and Noël Hallé (The Flight into Egypt, 1759, Saint Martin before Valentinian, 1762), the model’s father and brother.”


Didier Rykner, lundi 7 mars 2011


Notes

[1] We also point out the three paintings by Jean Restout residing in the church of Saint-Pierre-du-Martroi, usually closed most of the time, alas.



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