GREUZE, Jean-Baptiste
(b. 1725, Tournus, d. 1805, Paris)

Ange Laurent de La Live de Jully

c. 1759
Oil on canvas, 117 x 89 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

Ange Laurent de La Live de Jully (1725-1779) was a wealthy art collector and amateur artist. Unlike many other Parisian collectors, who favoured works of Rembrandt, Rubens, and the Renaissance masters, La Live de Jully made a conscious effort to collect contemporary French artists. His enthusiastic support of the visual arts led to his election in 1754 to the office of honorary member of the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in Paris.

In Greuze's portrait, La Live de Jully is shown as a gentleman cultivated in music and the visual arts. He is depicted in the study of his Paris residence, seated on a low, broad chair with conspicuous classical detailing, behind which is a matching writing table. On the right end of the table stands a marble statue of the Erythrean Sibyl by Jean-Jacques Caffiéri. The furniture is designed in a precociously neoclassical style by Louis-Joseph Le Lorrain with bronze mounts. The ebony-veneered writing table and a matching filing cabinet are now in the Musée Condé, Chantilly.