Self-portrait of the artist, three quarter length.

Self-Portrait, 1786

Oil on canvasexpand_more

Bruce B. Dayton Fundexpand_more  77.44

Jean-Laurent Mosnier was painter to the queen of France, Marie-Antoinette, and was known for his detailed, highly polished portraits. Here, however, the treatment is less finished, especially in the background, because this is a sketch made for his own use. In 1787, during the approval process for his acceptance into the French Royal Academy, he exhibited a self-portrait showing him seated at the easel with two young women admiring his work. Mia’s painting was his preparatory sketch. The rounded object at the right is the artist’s palette, which held his paints as he worked.

Mosnier’s close ties to the royal family caused him to flee shortly after the outbreak of the French Revolution (1787–99). He spent six years in London, four in Hamburg, Germany, and the last eight years of his life in St. Petersburg, Russia, where this painting remained throughout the 1800s.

Artist Life
about 1743/44–1808
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Self-portrait of the artist, three quarter length.