Portrait Of An Architect (probably A Pensionnaire At The Academy In Rome.)
Medium: Oil On An Oval Canvas
Size: 57 x 46 cm
Signed: and dated centre right: Restout le fils Rome 1764, and again on the rule at the bottom: Restout 1764
This painting has been seen by Mme Willk-Brocard and will be included in her forthcoming catalogue raisonné of the artist.
This vigorous portrait of an architect (his occupation indicated by the traditional instruments associated with that profession) was painted in Rome when Restout was in his last year as a pensionnaire at the Royal Academy. Like Jean-Honoré Fragonard, who had won the Prix de Rome in 1752 and taken up residence at the Academy in 1756, the young Restout had immediately responded to his exposure to Italian art and to the teaching of the popular Charles Joseph Natoire (himself a pupil of François Lemoyne). Restout’s vigorous handling of this subject, particularly evident in the face and hands, may be compared with Fragonard’s style in his famous fantasy portraits, admired by his contemporaries for their spontaneity. In this portrait of an architect, Restout demonstrates an extraordinary talent also evident in the handful of surviving portraits known today.