Jean-Étienne Liotard

Some artists express their age so perfectly that looking at their work is like travelling back in time. Jean- Étienne Liotard is one of those redeemers of days past. His art is a lace-framed photograph of the Enlightenment.


About the artist: Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702 – 1789) was a Swiss painter and art connoisseur. He was born and died in Geneva, but spent most of his career in stays in the capitals of Europe, where his portraits were popular. Additionally, he was an expert collector of paintings by the old masters.

Liotard was an artist of great versatility and is best-known for his fragile pastel drawings. He also achieved distinction for his enamels, copperplate engravings and glass painting. One outstanding feature of Liotard's paintings is the prevalence of smiling subjects. Generally, portrait subjects of the time adopted a more serious tone.

He went to Vienna in 1742 to paint the portraits of the Imperial family.

In 1762, Liotard painted portraits in Vienna, including Marie Antoinette. In 1781, Liotard published his Traité des principes et des règles de la peinture. In his last days he painted mostly still lifes and landscapes. He died in 1789.