Jean-Étienne Liotard

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Liotard, Jean-Étienne


Born Dec. 22, 1702, in Geneva; died there June 12, 1789. Swiss painter.

Liotard’s stay in Turkey from 1738 to 1743 inspired him to create ethnographical genre drawings and pastels (for example, Turkish Woman With Slave-girl, Museum of Art and History, Geneva). He often depicted himself and his models in Oriental costumes. Liotard’s pastel portraits and miniatures are distinguished by the simplicity and elegantly cool objectivity of their images, precise detailing, and even brushwork.


Traité des principes et des règles de la peinture. Geneva, 1781. (New edition, Geneva, 1945.)


Benois, A. “Liotar.” Apollon, 1912, no. 9, pp. 5–15.
Fosca, F. La Vie, les voyages et les oeuvres de J.-E. Liotard .... Lausanne-Paris, 1956.
References in periodicals archive ?
Augusta, Princess of Wales, 1754, Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-89), pastel on paper, 64.
Its top lot was a rare oil painting by Jean-Etienne Liotard, who usually worked in pastel--A Dutch Girl at Breakfast, of around 1755-56.
Another work with Dutch connections in this sale is a rare oil by the Swiss portraitist Jean-Etienne Liotard.
However, when protected by glass, backboards and their original gilt-wood frames, works of art in pastel can offer a rewarding aesthetic experience, especially if the works in question were created by masters from the ancien regime: Maurice-Quentin de La Tour (1704-88), Jean-Baptiste Perronneau (1715-83) and Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-89).
On the contrary, it has so much else to offer--not least small but exceptional holdings of Italian Renaissance pieces, and seven irresistible pastels (and a copper) by the 18th-century Swiss master, Jean-Etienne Liotard.
While we may be aware of Swiss artists such as Arnold Bocklin, Jean-Etienne Liotard, Felix Vallotton and Giovanni Giacometti, Dinkel's name is not a familiar one, and this exhibition, showing his engaging watercolours of Swiss women in regional costume alongside landscapes by his contemporaries, comes as an agreeable surprise.
Jean-Etienne Liotard can lay claim to being the greatest pastellist of the 18th century.
Several Swiss artists have contributed to the development of European art--artists such as Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-89) and Alberto Giacometti (1901-66)--whose talents were set free by travel and emigration.
On 30 September 1762, 24-year-old Bostonian John Singleton Copley wrote to Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789), by then aged nearly 60, whom he had previously met in London, asking for help in procuring 'a sett of the best Swiss Crayons for drawing of Portraits'.
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