Exhibition: Jean-Etienne Liotard

Royal Academy - Jean-Etienne Liotard

Exhibition dates: 24 October 2015 – 31 January 2016

Jean-Etienne Liotard was an artist in great demand across Enlightenment Europe and beyond. An eccentric and distinctive portraitist, his work conjures up the magnificence and cultural curiosity of the age in vividly lifelike detail.

Born at the beginning of the eighteenth century, this idiosyncratic Swiss artist was one of the most accomplished portraitists of his day. He travelled widely – from London to the Orient – applying his unflinching powers of observation to create beautifully crafted portraits, the majority in his signature pastels on parchment.At the peak of his powers, Liotard was commissioned to paint portraits of members of the British, French and Austrian royal families. A master of self-publicity, he was known as ‘the Turk’ — so-called for his adoption of Oriental costume following an extended voyage to the Near East, where he painted expatriate residents as well as scenes of everyday life in the Ottoman Empire.

From delicate lace and silks to turbans and furs, Liotard’s depictions of textiles reveal his astonishing command of detail and texture. His work is a superb record of the fashions of his age.

This is the first retrospective exhibition in the UK to be devoted to Liotard, bringing together over 70 rarely seen works. Covering the artist’s time in Paris, Vienna, Geneva, Constantinople and London – where he exhibited work at the Royal Academy – this exhibition is a long-overdue celebration of an exceptional artist.

Fore information, visit the website of the Royal Academy, London.

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