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Louis Ferdinand Elle Jr. (paris, 1612-1689). Portrait Of A Woman. Around 1680

Louis Ferdinand Elle Jr. (paris, 1612-1689). Portrait Of A Woman. Around 1680

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Louis Ferdinand Elle Jr. (paris, 1612-1689),, Portrait Of A Woman. Around 1680"
Louis Ferdinand Elle Jr. (Paris, 1612-1689)
Portrait of a Woman.
Circa 1680. 

Oil on canvas, supported on cardboard.
In a gilded wooden frame from XIX century.

Recently, a female portrait appeared in our gallery, coming from a private collection; the portrait was conventionally attributed to the Dutch school.
Assessing the artistic merits of the painting was complicated by its condition - the painting was hidden under a very thick layer of old varnish.

Subsequent cleaning of the painting made it possible to discover an original high-class painting by the author. After complex research, the painting was clearly attributed to the French school, and its dating, due to the features of the costume and hairstyle, began to vary between 1670 and 1690.
A stylistic analysis of the portrait allows us to attribute its authorship to the outstanding French portraitist Louis Ferdinand Elle.
Having received his initial artistic education in the workshop of his father, Ferdinand Elle (1570 in Mechelen - 1637 in Paris), Louis Ferdinand began an independent career quite early.
Thanks to his father's clients, the artist quickly strengthened his position at court. Elle's early and mature portraits (for example, the portrait of Louis XIV in armor, Metz, Musée de la Cour d'Or) demonstrate how great the influence of his father's work was on the artist. The artist uses well-established (but somewhat archaic) portraiture from around 1620, which is characterized by a somewhat elongated silhouette of the figure, smooth light and shadow modeling and an extremely generalized interpretation of the face. The artist remained devoted to this scheme for quite a long time, despite the fact that the portrait formula in France was undergoing significant changes.
All the more unexpected is the radical change in the style of Elle's portraits in the last years of his life, in the 1680s. This was connected with the arrival of the greatest portrait painter Louis Ferdinand Voet in Paris. Voet 's manner, which Pope Innocent XI called "an instrument of voluptuousness" (which was the reason that Voet was banned from working in Rome), turned out to be incredibly in tune with the artistic atmosphere of Paris. El's style begins to resemble Foote's work - his painting becomes more transparent, incredible freedom in technique appears, and his images are filled with sensual charm.
A small portrait of an unknown lady from the collection of Alina Malova’s gallery is an excellent example of El’s late work. The painting technique amazes with its virtuosity; it is free and artistic. The modeling of the form is built using several artistic techniques at once. Using light, the artist determines the volume, but completes the form using the non-finito effect. The figurative interpretation of the model is interesting. A characteristic feature of Elle's entire work was his very personal and intimate view of the model. The dialogue between the person depicted and the viewer in El’s work is based on semi-emotions, a technique he inherited from the art of his father.
This is especially noticeable in the portrait of a lady from the Alina Malova gallery.
A slight tilt of the head, a soft gaze and a slight half-smile create the charm of the image and seem to anticipate the French portrait of the 18th century.

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