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Liotard Jean-Etienne

( Artist)

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Biography Liotard Jean-Etienne
Jean-Etienne Liotard (1702-1789). In the Dresden Gallery is a product that causes a constant delight viewers. This "Chocolate" - a small picture painted by pastel on parchment, which shows a maid carrying a tray with a cup of chocolate and a glass of water. In this simple scene is not anything special, but it captivates poetic perception of life, a big beautiful craftsmanship. Here, everything pleases the eye - a pretty girl with an open, clear face and light, as if sliding on the parquet, gait, calm, harmonious combination of bright colors - white, pink, golden-brown, gray. Staring at this picture, admire and how brilliantly and accurately transferred here fineness of porcelain cups, water clarity in the glass, the texture of velvet, silk, lace. Some fabrics are falling heavy elastic folds, others are light and mobile, shimmer with different shades of color, softly enveloping shape. Despite the naturalness of the scene depicted, it is carefully designed and constructed. The artist has not figure in the center of the picture, but closer to the left, as if giving her the opportunity to move. The direction of its movement emphasizes the lines of gender, gesture, hands stretched forward, bearing a tray, a look that pays attention to what is far away, beyond the limits of the picture.

. "Chocolate" - one of the most celebrated works of Swiss artist Jean-Etienne Liotard, who was born in Geneva in the family of French Protestants, who had to because of religious convictions to leave their homeland and emigrate to Switzerland
. Lyotard's father was a jeweler. About the childhood of the artist kept a bit of information. It is known that he was soon carried away drawing. His students' notebooks were filled with paintings depicting various scenes from Roman history. Especially loved the boy to do portraits of his friends, single and group, afflict much resemblance. Seeing the ability of his son, his father sent him to the studio of the Swiss artist Daniel Gardel. Lyotard learned here just copy pictures, the teacher suggested to his disciples, seeing it as the main sense of teaching. His copies were so accurate that often angered Gardel, confident that they are made with the help of tracing paper. A few months later the young man had nothing to do with Gardel, and he decided to look for another teacher.

So in 1725 Lyotard was in Paris, in the studio as an engraver and miniaturist Jean-B.Masse. But stay with Massa, the protracted period of three years, did not bring him a big advantage. Lyotard began to work independently, studying various techniques - oil painting, pastel, miniature bone, enamel. In Paris, Lyotard tried his hand at historical genre. The result exceeded all expectations. His painting "David in the temple was awarded the prize of the Paris Academy. Connoisseurs of art take particular note of the young artist's skill in the performance of. Lyotard is finally convinced that his vocation - to paint portraits.

In 1736 he received an invitation to Italy to accompany the French envoy at the court of Naples, the Marquis de Puiseux. Lyotard reputation as a brilliant portraitist at the time was already so great that he agreed to pose for the Pope Clement XII. Before the artist opened up bright prospects. Soon, thanks to a chance acquaintance with one notable Englishman, Knight Ponsombi, Lyotard was invited to tour the East. He visited Messina, Syracuse, Malta, the Greek islands of Delos and Paros, in Smyrna. Journey ended in Constantinople. Fascinated by this city, Liotard lived there for five years.

Journey to the East has left a deep imprint on the life and work of the artist. He opened some of the country, manners, customs. Impressions from what he saw embodied in many of his drawings executed in pencil and sanguine (located in the Louvre). The brilliant quality of these drawings, with their complex ligature strokes, lines, patterns, and beauty of tone silver pencil, and red-red sanguine, skill and freedom of ownership of technology combined with documented exact reproduction of what he saw. Lyotard's contemporaries believed that he figures it is possible to sew costumes - so accurately transferred to them the texture of fabrics, style and even the cut of clothes. Similarly, the artist depicted the east rooms and decor with an abundance of rugs, fabrics, pillows, so that depicted people will fit into their surroundings.

. Shortly before the trip Lyotard in France have been translated and published by the Arab tale "1001 Nights", and from then on the East captured the imagination of the French
. It seemed fabulous, magical, and very far from reality. Lyotard one of the first to show the true East. His Turks, the inhabitants of Smyrna and the Greek islands were real people, not by the exotic characters, reminiscent of the actors, dressed in fantastic costumes, as they were at the French court. Of course, Lyotard could not completely overcome the prejudices of his time. His oriental beauties sometimes reminiscent of the refined Parisian. And he himself, carried away by the universal game of exoticism, was wearing a long beard, robe and turban, has been dubbed the "artist-Turk". Nevertheless it is clear that Lyotard with his interest in the East, the desire for truth and accuracy of searching anticipated artists of XIX century.

. Returning to Europe, Liotard constantly moved from one country to another, lived in Vienna, Paris, Lyon, London, Amsterdam, Venice, people came briefly to his native Geneva and again journeyed
. Hard to say what accounted for this "hunt to change places". Some researchers see the cause of opportunistic artist, others explain this material considerations. Perhaps another explanation: Lyotard was interesting to talk with different people, examine them, write their portraits. He was a portrait painter by vocation, a fine psychologist and expert on the human soul.

During his long creative life Lyotard created many portraits. Among the best is a portrait of the Austrian Empress Maria Theresa, written in 1744 in Vienna, and was repeated later in the technique of enamel and miniature bone. The Empress wished that the artist has depicted her as demanded by its high rank - on horseback or in work study. Lyotard, however, refused, citing the fact that it is too much for him. He painted a portrait of his own way, without idealization inherent rocaille portraits. In Maria Theresa no royalty or grandeur. It looks like the mother of a family with a nice, but rustic face and large hands. In 1745, also in Vienna, was written by the famous "Chocolate", a few years later, in 1749 "Self Portrait" (located in Geneva) - the best of a series of self-portraits in the suit "a la Turk". Liotard painted himself in a moment of creative inspiration. His eyes are invisible, we scrutinize the model, and the hand with a pencil ready to capture its features. With great conviction handed over power a man absorbed in the work: half-open mouth, burning eyes. Remarkably, as always, the skill in the transfer of various tissues, hair and skin.

Portraits Lyotard is a great variety. In some tangible connection with the Rococo style, with his characteristic love for the elegant and sophisticated costumes, to the abundance of soft flowing fabrics, the elegance of graceful postures and movements. These are the portraits of Madame Epinay, "" Reading Girl "," Madame Boer, "" Chocolate ". In other, more numerous portraits dominated by the desire for objective and accurate characterization. This can be seen in portraits of Maria Theresa, the marshal Marshal Saxe, the artist's wife, Madame Konyar ( "Lady in lace). People in these portraits are given, as a rule, close and closer to the viewer, nothing distracts them from the main focus - from the person. The artist is clearly impressed by such traits as energy, activity, self-confidence.

The peculiarity of Lyotard as a portrait is revealed in his comparison with other French artists of the XVIII century. Thus, the famous at the time of the hero - the Marshal of Saxony - written and Lyotard, and MK Latour. Moritz of Saxony in Latour - a brilliant man of fashion, a clever and ironic, a true aristocrat of the spirit, confident and casual. We Lyotard it is primarily a soldier, so depicted on the battlefield throughout the ammunition. The artist does not hide the shortcomings of his hero - low growth, excessive fullness. It seems prosaic and degeroizirovannym, even a marshal's baton does not give it significant. For this underlined the truth of portraits Lyotard advocates decried his "elegant style". This ran counter to the aesthetic views of the Rococo, where everything had to be embellished, where the truth was taken for rudeness and she preferred flattery. It is significant that even Jean-Zh.Russo did not like his portrait of Lyotard, because "... he mutilates me.

Lyotard assessed the next century, saw in him the forerunner. With the ability to speak the truth Lyotard left us with reliable documentation of his time, gave an accurate "... the appearance of long vanished from the face of the earth people."

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