BOURDON, Sébastien
(b. 1616, Montpellier, d. 1671, Paris)

Portrait of a Man

Oil on canvas, 105 x 65 cm
Musée Fabre, Montpellier

In Rome the young Bourdon was exposed to some of the greatest portraits of the Renaissance in the collections there, as well as to the constant experiments of artists as diverse as Bernini, Lanfranco and Domenichino, who all painted portraits. from all these influences Bourdon compounded his own style, which inevitably became a formula, but a successful one. He often painted his sitters three-quarters on, in a soft and even light, and preferred waist-length portraits and a feeling of relative informality. With his curious mixture of Italian influences, Bourdon set the style for middle-class French portraiture for almost the rest of the century. One of the best examples is his Portrait of a Man at Montpellier, which is a "tour de force" of subtle modelling and lighting. Indeed, almost all the surviving middle-class portraits of the time in France, that are not by Philippe de Champaigne and his followers, copy this type.

The sitter of this portrait is unknown.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.