Liotard, Jean-Étienne

Liotard, Jean-Étienne

(zhäN ātyĕn` lyôtär`), 1702–89, Swiss painter. He is best known for his portraits and drawings in pastel, but he also made portraits in oil, paintings on glass and porcelain, and engravings and enamels. Internationally known in his time, he traveled throughout Europe and the Near East, working for various courts, aristocrats, and public figures. Among his many portraits are those of Marie Antoinette, Francis I, and Maria Theresa. His work is best seen in Amsterdam and Geneva.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.