The latest exhibition to be announced at the Royal Academy of Arts will bring focus onto the work of Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard from the 24th October.

Liotard gained international recognition as one of the most highly accomplished portrait artists of the 18th century Enlightenment Europe and this brand new display of his work will bring together over seventy pieces of his varied art.

Jean-Etienne Liotard, L'Ecriture, 1752 Pastel on six sheets of blue paper, 81 x 107 cm Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna  Photo (c) SchloB Sch??nbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. Photography: Edgar Knaack
Jean-Etienne Liotard, L’Ecriture, 1752 Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna Photo (c) SchloB Schonbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsges.m.b.H. Photography: Edgar Knaack.

The display of his work will feature pastel and oil paintings, drawings and miniatures that are from public and private collections from Europe and the UK.

Born in Geneva, Liotard is best known for his pastel works and worked in many European capitals and Royal courts throughout his career. He had a strong ability to create a strong and realistic portrait on a variety of sizes from miniatures to full-scale portraits.

Sadly, although he gained a considerable reputation during his lifetime and career, the artist and his work is now little known in the present day. This display seeks to change this.

The exhibition will be arranged into six sections, focusing on the different elements of his career and life. The Artist and His Family will bring together a group of self-portraits as well as portraits of family members including his wife Marie Fargues and his eldest son.

Meanwhile Orientalism will focus on Liotard’s four year trip to Constantinople. It was here in the capital of the Turkish Empire that provided his subject matter for works that helped to contribute to the taste of Orientalism.

The next section will focus on Liotard’s two trips to London, where he received numerous commissions from members of British Society – including the Royal family. But later on in his career he was to settle down in Geneva, where he carried out portraits for those in Genevan high society and forms the section Continental Society.  There will also be sections focusing on the Royal family and Still lifes, Genre Scenes and Trompe L’Oeil. 

The exhibition will arrive in London following its display at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh, which runs until the 13th September. It will be open to the public at the Royal Academy of Arts from the 24th October until the 31st January 2016.

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