I Pierre Dumoustier

Portrait of a Youth

Portrait of a Youth
(click image to zoom-in)
Author: I Pierre Dumoustier
Portraiture, Painting, Oil on canvas, 32x19 cm
Origin: France, Between 1570 and 1575

Pierre Dumonstier, draughtsman and painter, was one of numerous artist members of the Dumonstier family, and this work by him is a superb example of 16th-century French portraiture as a whole. The composition suggests that the portrait is in fact a fragment cut out of a larger painting, perhaps a group or paired portrait, or simply a full-length portrait. Despite the small size of the work as we now see it, this portrait still manages to capture the uniqueness of human appearance. The correct, handsome features of the youth, with the slightly scornful pursing of the lips and the cold gaze, create an impression of distance. This image seems to be full of the sense of intrigue of the court Catherine de' Medici, where Dumonstier worked in the 1580s and 1590s. In the 16th century, French art came under strong Italian influence, but portraiture was one of the few areas of painting which retained its national characteristics.

Style: Renaissance
Source of entry: Collection of Count Cobenzl, Brussels, 1768
Exibition: French Art: 15th - 18th centuries

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