LOO, César van
(b. 1743, Paris, d. 1821, Paris)

Marquis d'Ossun

c. 1780
Oil on canvas, 218 x 164 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington

The sitter of this portrait, Pierre Paul, marquis d'Ossun (1713-1788), was of ancient aristocratic lineage. The first part of his adult life was spent in the French royal army. In 1751 he entered the diplomatic corps to became the ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples and the Two Sicilies. In 1759 he was sent to Madrid as Louis XV's official representative at the Spanish court. In 1778, the year after his return to France, Louis XVI appointed him minister in the Council of State.

The portrait is a celebration of the high points of the marquis d'Ossun's military and diplomatic careers.