Skip to main content

Duchess of La Force

François de Troy

(1645 - 1730) | 803.28

Date : 1714 | Medium : Oil on canvas

The exceptional rendering of the materials – in this case the folds of the fabric and the peaches – the sumptuous colours, realism of the face and the superbly balanced composition make this one of François de Troy's masterpieces.

In his day, the artist was renowned for his portraits of court ladies. Along with Nicolas de Largillère and Hyacinthe Rigaud, the artist is one of a new generation of portraitists who, as the 17th century drew to a close, harked back to the Colourist tradition in the style of Rubens.

However, François de Troy's work remains recognisable thanks to its respect for classical rules such as the use of yellow for brunettes ‘to make their complexions appear fresher,’ (Roger de Piles, Cours de peinture par principes), or the adoption of certain conventions such as the use of the young man with the dish as a foil. The particular way that the artist paints materials is reminiscent of Van Dyck, and his work is characterised by his efforts to achieve harmony and balance in their composition, which lends his portraits a sense of immortality.