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Head of bearded old man

François Lemoine

(1688 - 1737) | 975.4.1386

Date : Circa 1718 | Medium : Black charcoal and pastel drawing on green paper

When François Lemoine won the Prix de Rome in 1711, he was not granted a residency in Italy, due to the state of finances in France at the end of the reign of Louis XIV. However, the painter did not wait until his 1724 voyage to Italy to study the masters of Baroque art, and in particular the Venetians.  In 1719-1720 he even sized himself up against the Venetian painter Pellegrini, who had been invited to Paris to work on the decoration of the Hôtel de Nevers. This work dates from that period and is an exercise in style executed independent of a predetermined project. Lemoine left several studies of heads in pastel which seem directly inspired by the drawings of Federico Barocci, whose astonishingly unconventional shading effects Lemoine would borrow, despite the century separating the two artists.